GREENICE: NordForsk Impact of Future Cryospheric Changes on Northern Hemisphere Climate

Interaction between the climate and the changing cryosphere

Objectives

 

GREENICE will tackle one of the biggest uncertainties in the interaction between climate change and

the cryosphere: how will climate respond to future changes in sea-ice and snow cover? By means of a thorough analysis

of observations and coordinated experiments with global and regional atmospheric models, GREENICE will improve our

understanding of the atmospheric response to sea-ice and snow-cover changes and our ability to predict (anthropogenic

and naturally) driven changes on 10-30 year timescales. A more comprehensive understanding of future changes will

facilitate the ability of Arctic societies to adapt to climate change, and address problems of green-growth development.

 

Project Summary

 

The overarching goal of the project Impacts of Future Sea-Ice and Snow-Cover Changes on Climate, Green Growth and Society

(GREENICE) is to learn more about the interaction between changes in climate and changes in sea-ice and snow cover. There is large

uncertainty associated with anticipated future changes, in particular with regard to the extent, timing, and impacts of such changes.

GREENICE will tackle one of the biggest uncertainties in climate-change research: how will climate respond to the future changes in sea-ice

and snow cover? The spate of recent extreme weather events over the extra-tropical Northern Hemisphere, including winter cold snaps and

summer heat waves, have been linked to the dramatic loss of sea ice and warming occurring in the Arctic, and to increases in Eurasian

autumn and winter snow cover. Most of these changes in sea-ice cover are likely to be a result of global warming, and thus may accelerate.

Although observational, theoretical, and modelling studies indicate that the sea-ice and snow-cover changes have a significant impact on the

large-scale atmospheric circulation and weather extremes, controversy exists regarding the magnitude of these impacts and their underlying

mechanisms. Thus, the extent to which the observed extreme events were caused by Arctic sea-ice loss remains an open question. By

means of a thorough analysis and coordination of observations with global and regional atmospheric models GREENICE will improve our

understanding of the atmospheric response to sea-ice and snow-cover changes. These potential changes also compromise the ability to

plan adaptation strategies for northern communities, and to develop strategies for sustained green growth in an era of climate change.

Further specific goals of the project are: to i) understand the present and historical adaptation of arctic communities to changes in extreme

weather and sea-ice, and to include local experience-based knowledge in a mutual dialogue between researchers and stakeholders; ii) share

research results concerning the uncertainties of climate change with local communities, and to integrate and relate knowledge of potential

impacts in terms of key economic and social factors relevant to the welfare and sustainable green growth of these communities.

 

 
Project Details
Acronym: 
GREENICE
Funding Agency: 
NordForsk
NERSC Principal Investigator: 
Yongqi Gao
Coordinating Institute: 
University of Bergen
Project Status: 
Completed