Increasing solar heating of the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas, 1979–2005: Attribution and role in the ice-albedo feedback
Article first published online: 11 OCT 2007
Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 34, Issue 19, October 2007
How to Cite
2007), Increasing solar heating of the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas, 1979–2005: Attribution and role in the ice-albedo feedback, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L19505, doi:10.1029/2007GL031480., , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 11 OCT 2007
- Article first published online: 11 OCT 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 SEP 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 30 AUG 2007
- Manuscript Received: 26 JUL 2007
- sea ice;
- ice albedo feedback;
- solar heating
 Over the past few decades the Arctic sea ice cover has decreased in areal extent. This has altered the solar radiation forcing on the Arctic atmosphere-ice-ocean system by decreasing the surface albedo and allowing more solar heating of the upper ocean. This study addresses how the amount of solar energy absorbed in areas of open water in the Arctic Basin has varied spatially and temporally over the past few decades. A synthetic approach was taken, combining satellite-derived ice concentrations, incident irradiances determined from reanalysis products, and field observations of ocean albedo over the Arctic Ocean and the adjacent seas. Results indicate an increase in the solar energy deposited in the upper ocean over the past few decades in 89% of the region studied. The largest increases in total yearly solar heat input, as much as 4% per year, occurred in the Chukchi Sea and adjacent areas.