Bjerknessenteret for klimaforskning er et samarbeid mellom Universitetet i Bergen, Uni Research, Nansensenteret og Havforskningsinstituttet. 

Presentation of SKD-projects: BASIC

Researchers, goals, main results, the next step

BASIC – Boundary Layers in the Arctic Atmosphere, Seas and Ice Dynamics


What are the goals of the project?

The project aims to reconcile the observed climate features in the “new Arctic” with the identified and emerging physical/dynamical processes in the boundary layers across the air-sea-ice interface. Specific attention is given to interacting air-sea BL processes, which are the key to control the sea ice extent – the culprit of the CMIP5 model disagreement. The work requires combined efforts of meteorologists, oceanographers and modelers to promote integrated Arctic system studies across the entire research cycle from the multi-facet data collection through disentangling of the process interactions with the high-resolution analyses to the integration of this understanding into single-column and fully coupled climate models.


What are the main results so far?

So far, BASIC has delivered three major results. First, the comprehensive observational campaigns have been completed. One was onboard of the research vessel Lance and another one obtained measurements around Greenland. Second, the climatic role of the shallow stably stratified boundary layers has been disclosed. It was shown that the Arctic boundary layers significantly amplify the temperature trends due to greenhouse gas and other forcings [1]. Third, the observed changes in the Arctic cloudiness since 1886 were compiled using station observations [2]. Increasing amount of convective clouds was linked to shrinking sea ice cover.

[1] Davy R. and Esa​u I., 2016: Differences in the efficacy of climate forcings explained by variations in atmospheric boundary layer depth, Nature Communications, 7:11690, doi: 10.1038/ncomms.11690

[2] Chernokulsky A., Esau I., Davy R. et al., 2016: Climatology and interannual variability of cloudiness in the Atlantic Arctic from the end of 19th century, Journal of Climate, submitted


What are the future plans?

The  future work will be concentrated on the analysis of the collected data and identification of the key features of the model parameterizations for the Arctic climate processes. The BASIC partners will actively participate in publication of the N-ICE 2015 results together with the researchers from the Norwegian Polar Institute. The boundary layer parameterizations will be reassessed on the basis of the flux-energy budget approach. 


Who is involved?

NERSC: Igor Esau,  Richard Davy

UiB: Lars H. Smedsrud,  Ilker Fer, Joachim Reuder, Valerie-Marie Kumer, Ingrid H. Onarheim, Aleksi Nummelin

Uni Research: Abdirahman Omar, Mehmet Ilicak, Siv Kari Lauvseth

Duration: 2015 - 2017