Project Information
What Processes Drive Southern Ocean Sea Ice Variability and Trends? Insights from the Energy Budget of the Coupled Cryosphere-ocean-atmosphere System
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End Date:
The key scientific question of this project is: what mechanism is the dominant driver of Southern Ocean (SO) sea ice variability and long-term trends in nature? Our primary goal is to understand the processes that drive SO sea ice loss over the observational record and identify which models get the physics right. Although our primary focus is on mechanisms of long-term sea ice loss, the observational record includes rich information at shorter timescales which are better sampled and may elucidate the relevant physics. Thus, our analysis of mechanisms of sea ice variability spans time scales ranging from days (synoptic) to inter-annual variability to long-term trends to identify model biases in the physics that drive SO sea ice loss events. We divided our work into explorations of 5 major topics 1. Identifying model biases in high frequency sea ice variability in the Southern Ocean 2. Identifying model biases in radiative impact of sea ice loss events 3. Disentangling the roles of winds and sea surface temperature on the observational record of Southern Ocean sea ice 4. Quantifying the degree to which Southern Ocean sea ice loss is remotely forced by the influence of the tropics and mid-latitudes and, conversely, how much much influence does the Southern Ocean have on the tropics 5. Analyzing the impact of atmospheric heat transport on sea ice loss
Person Role
Donohoe, Aaron Investigator and contact
Schweiger, Axel Co-Investigator
Antarctic Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Award # 1643436
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Product Level:
4 (model output and interpretations)
Repository Title (link) Format(s) Status
USAP-DC Partionining of CERES planetary albedo between atmospheric and surface reflection None exists
  1. 2021 Cardinale, C.J., B.E.J. Rose, A.L. Lange and A. Donohoe. Stratospheric and tropospheric flux contributions to the polar cap energy budgets. J. Climate. 34 (11), 4261-4278. (doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-20-0722.1)
  2. Hahn, L. C., K.C. Armour, M.D. Zelinka, C. M. Bitz, and A. Donohoe, 2021: Contributions to Polar Amplification in CMIP5 and CMIP6 Models. 9. Frontiers in Earth Science, 9. 2296-6463. (doi:10.3389/feart.2021.710036)
  3. 2021 Cox, T., A. Donohoe, K.C. Armour and G.H Roe. Radiative and dynamic controls on meridional heat transport under altered rotation rate. Journal of Climate. (doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-20-0533.1)
  4. 2019 Vargas Zeppetello, L.R, A. Donohoe and D.S. Battisti. Does surface temperature respond to or determine downwelling longwave radiation?. Geophysical Research Letters. 10.1029/2019GL082220 (doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0329.1)
  5. 2020 Donohoe, A., E. Blanchard-Wrigglesworth., A. Schweiger, P. Rasch. The effect of atmospheric transmissivity on model and observational estimates of the sea ice albedo feedback. Journal of Climate. 33 (13), 5743-5765. DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0674.1 (doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0674.1)
  6. 2020 Donohoe, A., K.C. Armour, G.H. Roe and D.S. Battisti. The partitioning of atmospheric energy transport and changes under climate forcing in coupled climate models. Journal of Climate. 33 (10), 4141-4165. DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0797.1 (doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0797.1)
  7. 2020 Hahn, L., K.C. Armour, D.S Battisti and A. Donohoe. Understanding Asymmetries in Arctic and Antarctic Lapse-Rate Feedbacks and Polar Amplification. Geophysical Research Letters. 47 (16) e2020GL088965. DOI 10.1029/2020GL088965. (doi:10.1029/2020GL088965.)
  8. 2021 Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, E. L. Roach, A. Donohoe and Q. Ding Impact of winds on Antarctic sea ice trends and variability. Journal of Climate. 34 (3), 949-965. (doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-20-0386.1)
  9. Blanchard‐Wrigglesworth, E., A. Donohoe, L. A. Roach, A. DuVivier, and C. M. Bitz, 2021: High‐Frequency Sea Ice Variability in Observations and Models. 48. (14). Geophysical Research Letters, 48. 0094-8276. (doi:10.1029/2020GL092356)
Platforms and Instruments

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