Developing a Process-Level Understanding
The Arctic sea-ice is changing dramatically, with rapid declines in summer sea-ice extent and a shift toward relatively more first year ice and less multi-year ice. Ultimately sea-ice decline is linked to broader global climate change, but at a regional scale many interdependent processes and feedbacks within the atmosphere, ocean, and sea-ice contribute to the broader observed changes.
The primary objective of MOSAiC is to develop a better understanding of these important coupled-system processes so they can be more accurately represented in regional- and global-scale models. Such enhancements will contribute to improved modeling of global climate and weather, and Arctic sea-ice predictive capabilities.
Guiding Science Questions
What are the causes and consequences of an evolving and diminished Arctic sea ice cover?
- What are the seasonally-varying energy sources, mixing processes, and interfacial fluxes that affect the heat and momentum budgets of sea ice?
- How does sea ice move and deform over its first year of existence?
- Which processes contribute to the formation, properties, precipitation, and maintenance of Arctic clouds and their interactions with aerosols and boundary-layer structure?
- How do interfacial exchange rates, biology, and chemistry couple to regulate ecosystems and the major elemental cycles in the high Arctic sea ice?
- How do ongoing changes in the Arctic ice-ocean-atmosphere system impact larger-scale heat and mass transfers of importance to climate and ecosystems?