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Seminar: ‘It’s Complicated:’ The Complex Relationship of Cyclones on Arctic Sea Ice

  • To
  • Atlantic Building, and Online
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Arctic cyclones are strong storms which travel into the Arctic and are associated with changes to the temperature, moisture, surface energy budget, winds, and precipitation. However, their timing, strength, location and cumulative effects/impacts of these cyclones on the sea ice are not well established or straightforward. Previous studies have shown conflicting results that cyclone frequency and intensity have not necessarily changed over the past four decades (1980-2020). Here we show that these cyclones are responsible for bringing in the majority of snowfall which falls on Arctic sea ice and builds up the snowpack throughout the year. However, with a warming climate and given that the Arctic is warming faster than anywhere on Earth, it is hypothesized that the precipitation phase of these cyclones could be shifting from predominantly snow to more rain dominated. This could have profound effects on the sea ice survivability, especially if this ‘rainy’ cyclone season extends earlier in the spring, and later into the fall. We will investigate how two anomalous cyclones can have differing effects on the sea ice in winter, and how a rainy cyclone affects the survivability of sea ice in the spring. Finally, we will look at how cyclones will be affected in the springtime in the future with a loss in sea ice cover.


Atlantic Building

In-person at Atlantic Building room 2400. For a Zoom link please contact


Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Science

For disability accommodations, please contact Walter Tribett at

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