The role of Amundsen–Bellingshausen Sea anticyclonic circulation in forcing marine air intrusions into West Antarctica

B. Daniel Emanuelsson, Nancy A.N. Bertler, Peter D. Neff, James A. Renwick, Bradley R. Markle, W. Troy Baisden, Elizabeth D. Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Persistent positive 500-hPa geopotential height anomalies from the ECMWF ERA-Interim reanalysis are used to quantify Amundsen–Bellingshausen Sea (ABS) anticyclonic event occurrences associated with precipitation in West Antarctica (WA). We demonstrate that multi-day (minimum 3-day duration) anticyclones play a key role in the ABS by dynamically inducing meridional transport, which is associated with heat and moisture advection into WA. This affects surface climate variability and trends, precipitation rates and thus WA ice sheet surface mass balance. We show that the snow accumulation record from the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) ice core reflects interannual variability of blocking and geopotential height conditions in the ABS/Ross Sea region. Furthermore, our analysis shows that larger precipitation events are related to enhanced anticyclonic circulation and meridional winds, which cause pronounced dipole patterns in air temperature anomalies and sea ice concentrations between the eastern Ross Sea and the Bellingshausen Sea/Weddell Sea, as well as between the eastern and western Ross Sea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3579-3596
Number of pages18
JournalClimate Dynamics
Volume51
Issue number9-10
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Amundsen Sea Low
  • Anticyclones
  • Ice cores
  • Meridional transport
  • Precipitation rates
  • West Antarctica

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