Phytoplankton have attracted increasing attention in climate science due to their impacts on climate systems. A new generation of climate models can now provide estimates of future climate change, considering the biological feedbacks through the development of the coupled physical-ecosystem model. Here we present the geophysical impact of phytoplankton, which is often overlooked in future climate projections. A suite of future warming experiments using a fully coupled ocean-atmosphere model that interacts with a marine ecosystem model reveals that the future phytoplankton change influenced by greenhouse warming can amplify Arctic surface warming considerably. The warming-induced sea ice melting and the corresponding increase in shortwave radiation penetrating into the ocean both result in a longer phytoplankton growing season in the Arctic. In turn, the increase in Arctic phytoplankton warms the ocean surface layer through direct biological heating, triggering additional positive feedbacks in the Arctic, and consequently intensifying the Arctic warming further. Our results establish the presence of marine phytoplankton as an important potential driver of the future Arctic climate changes.
Carbon release through boreal fires could considerably accelerate Arctic warming; however, boreal fire occurrence mechanisms and dynamics remain largely unknown. Here, we analyze fire activity and relevant large-scale atmospheric conditions over southeastern Siberia, which has the largest burned area fraction in the circumboreal and high-level carbon emissions due to high-density peatlands. It is found that the annual burned area increased when a positive Arctic Oscillation (AO) takes place in early months of the year, despite peak fire season occurring 1 to 2 months later. A local high-pressure system linked to the AO drives a high-temperature anomaly in late winter, causing premature snowmelt. This causes earlier ground surface exposure and drier ground in spring due to enhanced evaporation, promoting fire spreading. Recently, southeastern Siberia has experienced warming and snow retreat; therefore, southeastern Siberia requires appropriate fire management strategies to prevent massive carbon release and accelerated global warming.
Stomatal closure is one of the main physiological responses to increasing CO2 concentration, which leads to a reduction in plant water loss. This response has the potential to trigger changes in the climate system by regulating surface energy budgets-a phenomenon known as CO2 physiological forcing. However, its remote impacts on the Arctic climate system are unclear. Here we show that vegetation at high latitudes enhances the Arctic amplification via remote and time-delayed physiological forcing processes. Surface warming occurs at mid-to-high latitudes due to the physiological acclimation-induced reduction in evaporative cooling and resultant increase in sensible heat flux. This excessive surface heat energy is transported to the Arctic ocean and contributes to the sea ice loss, thereby enhancing Arctic warming. The surface warming in the Arctic is further amplified by local feedbacks, and consequently the contribution of physiological effects to Arctic warming represents about 10% of radiative forcing effects.
The subseasonal relationship between Arctic and Eurasian surface air temperature (SAT) is re-examined using reanalysis data. Consistent with previous studies, a significant negative correlation is observed in cold season from November to February, but with a local minimum in late December. This relationship is dominated not only by the warm Arctic-cold Eurasia (WACE) pattern, which becomes more frequent during the last two decades, but also by the cold Arctic-warm Eurasia (CAWE) pattern. The budget analyses reveal that both WACE and CAWE patterns are primarily driven by the temperature advection associated with sea level pressure anomaly over the Ural region, partly cancelled by the diabatic heating. It is further found that, although the anticyclonic anomaly of WACE pattern mostly represents the Ural blocking, about 20% of WACE cases are associated with non-blocking high pressure systems. This result indicates that the Ural blocking is not a necessary condition for the WACE pattern, highlighting the importance of transient weather systems in the subseasonal Arctic-Eurasian SAT co-variability.