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The origin of moisture feeding up Atmospheric Rivers over the Arctic
Marta Vázquez 1 , Karina Pereira 1 , Raquel Nieto 2 , Luis Gimeno 1
1  Environmental Physics Laboratory (EPhysLab), Facultade de Ciencias, Universidad de Vigo, Ourense, Spain.
2  Environmental Physics Laboratory (EPhysLab), Facultade de Ciencias, Universidad de Vigo, Ourense, Spain.,Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Published: 05 November 2017 by MDPI AG in First International Electronic Conference on the Hydrological Cycle in First International Electronic Conference on the Hydrological Cycle session Extreme Events
MDPI AG, 10.3390/CHyCle-2017-04829
Abstract:

The Arctic system is one of the most vulnerable region under climate change conditions and it has suffered important changes on last decades. Several recent studies have suggested the influence of moisture transport in the observed sea ice loss on this region. Changes in moisture transport could affect the arctic region by changing the cloud cover, by affecting river discharge or by direct effect of precipitation over the sea ice, for example. Atmospheric rives (ARs) represent one of the main mechanism of global moisture transport, being especially relevant on the connection between lower and higher latitudes. Despite this importance, the influence of ARs over the Arctic system has not been widely study.

The objective of this is work is to establish a first step on the study of the influence of the occurrence of ARs over the polar region. For this purpose, the lagrangian model FLEXPART was used to analyze moisture sources for those regions of maximum occurrence of ARs for the period 1994-2014 in order to analyze the origin of moisture transported by these meteorological structures. The location of ARs affecting the Arctic was realized using an automated algorithm and the region of maximum occurrence was defined taking into account the number of ARs detected for August and September (when sea ice is minimum over the Arctic ocean) over a band of 10° of latitude centered on 60°N. For these regions and considering those days of ARs occurrence, the anomalous moisture sources was defined in relation with mean situation for the complete period.

From the results, main moisture sources for ARs events extends over the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans, moreover local input of moisture over the region of maximum ARs occurrence seems to be especially relevant. It is interesting to highlight the moisture uptake from Eastern Asia for the month of August. In general it could be conclude that, for ARs events the moisture uptake around and over the maximum occurrence area highly increase becoming relevant sources of moisture feeding up the event.

The location of the origin of the moisture that feed up Arctic ARs is an important step forward on the study of the influence of these structures over the region. Further analysis regarding the contribution of moisture from ARs over the region should be realized in order to complete the relation ARs-sea ice; being this study suitable for a future work.

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