Presentation Title: «A Foggy Forecast: Using Cloud Cover to Predict Arctic Sea Ice Decline»
Presenter: Yiyi Huang, Ph.D. Student, Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences
2018 Carson Scholar, Freshwater Fellow
The Arctic is a region of importance and vulnerability to global climate change. Recent satellite observations have shown that Arctic sea ice minimum has been decreasing by roughly 75,000 km2 per year since 1979. These dramatic changes in the Arctic sea ice affect a growing community of diverse stakeholders including scientists, politicians, and business leaders. Accompanying this growing interest is an urgent demand to increase the pace and scope of the advancements in physical understanding and predictive capabilities. By using multiple satellite observations and model simulations, we can provide a physical explanation for why the Arctic sea ice keeps shrinking in the past decades. Cloud cover and radiation are believed to be the two most important physical processes influencing sea ice melting in the Arctic. My research shows that increasing clouds creates a greenhouse effect in the early spring that would enhance sea ice melting in the following summer. Since we are able to link September sea ice with springtime cloud and radiation processes, this gives us an important predictor that could potentially lead to skillful seasonal forecasts of Arctic sea ice extent at a lead-time of 2-4 months.
Yiyi's talk is part of the Fall 2018 Borderlands Brewing Co. Science Café series — A Song of Ice (and Floods) and Fire: Consequences of a Changing Climate on Our Ecosystems and Societies. This series unites the “classical elements” of nature to uncover their diverse – and sometimes unexpected – impacts on ecosystems and human society, from the tropics to the poles to our home in the Sonoran desert.
The UA Science Café Series is brought to you by the University of Arizona College of Science. Science Cafés bring the community together with UA scientists and graduate students in a casual setting. You’ll learn about the latest research being conducted, get to know the faces behind the science, and have opportunities to ask questions and deepen your understanding. There are four separate café series at four different locations around Tucson, each with their own themes for fascinating science discussions. Come join the conversation!
Borderlands Brewing Co.
119 E. Toole Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701