Abstract

The observed unusually high temperatures in the Arctic during recent decades can be related to the Arctic sea ice declines in summer 2007, 2012 and 2016. Arctic dipole formation has been associated with all three heatwaves of 2007, 2012 and 2016 in the Canadian Arctic. Here, the differences in weather patterns are investigated and compared with normal climatological mean (1981–2010) structures. This study examines the high-resolution datasets from the North American Regional Reanalysis model. During the study periods, the north of Alaska has been affected by the low-pressure tongue. The maximum difference between Greenland high-pressure centre and Alaska low-pressure tongue for the summers of 2012, 2016 and 2007 are 8 hPa, 7 hPa and 6 hPa, respectively, corresponding and matching to the maximum summer surface Canadian Arctic temperature records. During anomalous summer heatwaves, low-level wind, temperatures, total clouds (%) and downward radiation flux at the surface are dramatically changed. This study shows the surface albedo has been reduced over most parts of the Canadian Arctic Ocean during the mentioned heatwaves (∼5–40%), with a higher change (specifically in the eastern Canadian Arctic region) during summer 2012 in comparison with summer 2016 and summer 2007, agreeing with the maximum surface temperature and sea ice decline records.

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