Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorChassot, Amanda M.en_US
dc.description.abstractPrevious research indicates that future reductions in Arctic sea ice cover (SIC) could alter storm tracks and precipitation patterns in western North America and negatively impact water resources in the American southwest. Other research suggests that multiple periods of increased precipitation and/or cooler temperatures in the American southwest during the Little Ice Age (LIA) were due to strong El Niño events; historical records also describe expanded Arctic SIC at this time.

We use 16th-19th century Arctic SIC records from the ACSYS Historical Ice Chart Archive as a basis for expanding Arctic SIC from 1870 HadISST data to theoretical LIA extents. Then, in a suite of sensitivity studies, we investigate the relative influences of and interactions between El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) related sea surface temperature (SST) variation and varying Arctic SIC in controlling storm tracks, precipitation patterns, and overall climate conditions in the American southwest.

We find that tropical Pacific SSTs greatly influence climate system response to variability in Arctic SIC, with ENSO-Neutral SSTs permitting the greatest response.

Additionally, the degree of expansion and symmetry of Arctic SIC also influence precipitation regime response. These findings suggest that the climate response to future Arctic SIC retreat may not only be highly dependent on the spatial patterns and extent of SIC reductions, but also upon ENSO variability, such that El Nino events may reduce the potential climate impact of ice reductions as compared to Neutral or La Nina events.

dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.rightsI hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to Virginia Tech or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.en_US
dc.subjectArctic sea iceen_US
dc.subjectLittle Ice Ageen_US
dc.subjectclimate changeen_US
dc.titleThe Combined Role of ENSO-driven Sea Surface Temperature Variation and Arctic Sea Ice Extent in Defining Climate Conditions in the Southwestern United Statesen_US
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen_US of Scienceen_US Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairSewall, Jacob O.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSpotila, James A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBarrett, John E.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKraal, Erin R.en_US

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record