UA Science Café at Borderlands Brewing Company – 'A Foggy Forecast: Using Cloud Cover to Predict Arctic Sea Ice Decline'
Presenter: Yiyi Huang, Ph.D. student, Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences and Carson Scholars Program Freshwater Fellow
Talk: "A Foggy Forecast: Using Cloud Cover to Predict Arctic Sea Ice Decline"
The Arctic is a region of importance and vulnerability to global climate change. Recent satellite observations have shown that the Arctic sea ice minimum has been decreasing by roughly 74,961.8 square kilometers 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 utilizing multiple satellite observations and model simulations, a physical explanation for why the Arctic sea ice keeps shrinking in the past decades from physical perspectives has been provided. Cloud and radiation are believed to be the two most important physical processes that affect sea ice melting in the Arctic. Huang found that increasing clouds and their greenhouse effect in the early spring would enhance sea ice melting underneath 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 two to four months.
Science Café at Borderlands Brewing Company 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.
About Science Cafés: Science Cafés, presented by the UA College of Science, 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. We have five separate café series at five different locations around Tucson, each with their own themes for fascinating science discussions.