As the persistent Arctic cyclone - or PAC-2013 - of the past couple of weeks winds down, I want to discuss what I've found on the subject in a couple of research papers. But first want to refer to two excellent blog posts from last week doing just that, on the Robertscribbler blog and FishOutofWater's blog on Daily Kos.
This animation of DMI SLP maps shows the birth and demise of PAC-2013:
Perhaps I should say near-demise, but the weather forecast says it's basically over for this cyclone. Of course, other cyclones come into play in other parts of the Arctic, but it's not the PAC-2013 anymore. After approximately 25 days of wandering around, weakening and re-strengthening to a pretty powerful cyclone at times, churning ice, keeping the Arctic cold, we've witnessed another remarkable cyclone in less than 1 year's time.
There are a couple of questions that have been on my mind ever since the cyclone started to show itself persistent:
- Is PAC-2013 unprecedented?
- Is it somehow caused by the progressive loss of Arctic sea ice?
- If so, will we see these PACs more often?
- What will the effect on the sea ice be, short-term and long-term?
To answer some of these questions I did a search on Google Scholar with summer arctic cyclone as search words. Because the Arctic is changing so fast, I was mostly interested in recent research, but I remembered there was one paper from 2008 that I read last year during GAC-2012, that also has interesting things to say about Arctic summer cyclones. So, I'll start off with that one and quote the most interesting parts.