The Combined Role of ENSO-driven Sea Surface Temperature Variation and Arctic Sea Ice Extent in Defining Climate Conditions in the Southwestern United States
|dc.contributor.author||Chassot, Amanda M.||en_US|
|dc.description.abstract||Previous 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 NiÃ±o 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 NiÃ±o-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.rights||I 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.subject||Arctic sea ice||en_US|
|dc.subject||Little Ice Age||en_US|
|dc.title||The Combined Role of ENSO-driven Sea Surface Temperature Variation and Arctic Sea Ice Extent in Defining Climate Conditions in the Southwestern United States||en_US|
|thesis.degree.name||Master of Science||en_US|
|thesis.degree.grantor||Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University||en_US|
|dc.contributor.committeechair||Sewall, Jacob O.||en_US|
|dc.contributor.committeemember||Spotila, James A.||en_US|
|dc.contributor.committeemember||Barrett, John E.||en_US|
|dc.contributor.committeemember||Kraal, Erin R.||en_US|
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