Arctic sea ice decline is caused by global warming and is accelerated by regional feedbacks resulting from changes in absorption and reflection of heat by ice and snow (albedo), among other processes. By the end of the century, Arctic sea ice is confidently expected to disappear in summertime, although this will probably happen sooner (1). The Arctic sea ice area decline further increases global warming rates because the albedo reduction means that more heat is absorbed by Earth. The Arctic sea ice changes by themselves are concerning, but remote atmospheric and oceanic linkages also force changes in weather, climate, and extreme events at lower latitudes (2). On page 972 of this issue, Polyakov et al. (3) show that mid-term variability in the regional atmospheric circulation can control decadal changes in the rate of sea ice decline.
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Volume 381 | Issue 6661
1 September 2023
Copyright © 2023 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
Published in print: 1 September 2023
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S.B. receives funding from the UK Natural Environment Research Council CANARI (Climate change in the Arctic–North Atlantic region and impacts on the UK) project (NE/W004984/1).
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK.
Arctic sea ice, ocean, and climate evolution.Science381,946-947(2023).DOI:10.1126/science.adj8469
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