2009 AGU Fall Meeting

14–18 December, San Francisco, California, USA


Paper Number:GC51A-0738 , Poster Presentation

Poster in PDF

Presentation Date and Time: December 18, 2009; Location: Poster Hall, Moscone South

Arctic Warming Phenomena 90 Years Ago

ABSTRACT : Due to higher winter temperatures there had been a significant warming in the Arctic from 1919 to about 1940. Only a few details of locations, timing and possible sources of warming are available. Answers can be found if research is confined to an extreme temperature rise during the winter season. Within the Polar Circle, any winter warming is closely related to a number of prevailing circumstances, e.g., minimal direct influence by the sun, sea ice conditions, and the ocean current system.
Meteorological data from the Arctic Ocean region, Greenland, Iceland, North Europe, and Russia are analyzed in order to establish with accuracy, where and when the warming appeared, and its magnitude. Establishing the location and the precise timing is a paramount precondition to discuss the source of the event and its sustaining for two decades.
Thus the study can show that the extraordinary warming in the polar region since 1919 was not an Arctic but a Spitsbergen warming. The higher temperature rise could have only been generated in the sea ice free ocean off the western coast of Spitsbergen, where the warm and saline West Spitsbergen Current is entering the Arctic Basin. A detailed comparison of various coastal stations in the Northern North Atlantic from Russia to West-Greenland show that the rising trend started at Spitsbergen. At more southern stations in Northern Russia and Norway, as well as on Iceland and Greenland at no time there had been any significant surplus of heat, which could have had the ability to supply the winter warming at Spitsbergen for two decades.

AUTHOR: Arnd Bernaerts; KEYWORDS: [9315] GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION / Arctic region, [1616] GLOBAL CHANGE / Climate variability, [1635] GLOBAL CHANGE / Oceans, [0750] CRYOSPHERE / Sea ice.

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