Impacts of extratropical storm tracks on Arctic sea ice export through Fram Strait

  • Jianfen Wei
  • Xiangdong Zhang
  • Zhaomin Wang


Studies have indicated regime shifts in atmospheric circulation, and associated changes in extratropical storm tracks and Arctic storm activity, in particular on the North Atlantic side of the Arctic Ocean. To improve understanding of changes in Arctic sea ice mass balance, we examined the impacts of the changed storm tracks and cyclone activity on Arctic sea ice export through Fram Strait by using a high resolution global ocean–sea ice model, MITgcm–ECCO2. The model was forced by the Japanese 25-year Reanalysis (JRA-25) dataset. The results show that storm-induced strong northerly wind stress can cause simultaneous response of daily sea ice export and, in turn, exert cumulative effects on interannual variability and long-term changes of sea ice export. Further analysis indicates that storm impact on sea ice export is spatially dependent. The storms occurring southeast of Fram Strait exhibit the largest impacts. The weakened intensity of winter (in this study winter is defined as October–March and summer as April–September) storms in this region after 1994/95 could be responsible for the decrease of total winter sea ice export during the same time period.


Fram Strait Sea ice export Storm track Cyclones MITgcm–ECCO2 



This study was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFA0601804), the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (Grant 2015CB953900), and the Research Innovation Program for College Graduates of Jiangsu Province (KYLX15_0857). ZW is supported by “the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities” (2017B20714; 2017B04814). JRA-25 reanalysis data were obtained freely from the NCAR’s research data archive (


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Polar Climate System and Global Change LaboratoryNanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.International Arctic Research Center and Department of Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA
  3. 3.College of OceanographyHohai UniversityNanjingChina

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