to a polar low migrating eastward through the Beaufort Sea
(simulated by the Weather Research & Forecasting Model,
Why is this research important?
Instabilities and feedbacks that occur in the polar regions have the greatest potential for affecting global-scale climate change. Yet many of the processes and feedbacks operating in these regions are insufficiently understood. For example, one of the greatest uncertainties in projecting sea-level rise during this century is related to how poorly we understand the dynamical response of the polar ice sheets to climate change. In arctic Alaska, decisions of local, national, and international importance are currently hampered by the existence of large scientific gaps. This project is aimed at increasing our understanding of polar (and high-altitude) processes to better enable the projection of future changes and impacts. This information will aid decision-making in high-latitude, high-altitude, and low-lying coastal areas of the U.S. It will also provide a better foundation for understanding present and future changes to land, water, and biological systems in these vulnerable environments.
Principal Investigator: Gary Clow, Geology and Environmental Change Science Center
Project Team: Frank Urban, Mark Ohm