Acceleration of Western Arctic Sea Ice Loss Linked to Warming Pacific Air Currents

Nature Communications, March 9
The western Arctic – located north of Alaska and Canada – has seen the fastest sea ice decline in centuries. The Pacific North American (PNA) air currents are one of the important drivers of this sea ice decline, accounting for more than 25% of the reduction. PNA circulation has pushed heat and moisture air masses into the western Arctic. This has increased surface air temperatures and humidity in the region, accelerating sea ice decline. Thus, these PNA air currents play an important role in projections of Arctic climate changes, and continued greenhouse warming will further amplify PNA trends and subsequent Arctic sea ice loss.

Compiled by Amy Imdieke.