PRIMAVERA sea ice webinar

This webinar was presented by PRIMAVERA scientists Torben Koenigk, David Docquier and Steve Delhaye, on Wed 12th June 2019. They explain how they are using the high-resolution PRIMAVERA models to study the sea ice and its links to the climate.


Sea ice is found at the Earth’s high latitudes, both in the northern and southern hemispheres. In the northern hemisphere, at its greatest extent (in winter) the sea ice currently spans a major portion of the Arctic Ocean. In recent years, however, a decline in the extent and volume of sea ice has been observed, linked to the current global warming. The presence (or absence) of Arctic sea ice has global significance – for example, sea ice reflects a large amount of the incoming solar radiation, and its current loss increases the amount of heat absorbed, which leads to further ice melting (this is a positive climate feedback).

 It is known that there are links between sea ice and the climate of mid-latitudes. The high-resolution global modelling undertaken in PRIMAVERA is exploring the representation of sea ice in the models, and the links between sea ice and the European climate in different seasons. Of particular interest is whether these models’ higher spatial resolution enhances our understanding of sea ice and its impacts.

 About the speakers:

Torben Koenigk leads the global climate modelling group at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute. He is particularly interested in Arctic climate, its variability and future change and the potential impact on lower latitudes.

David Docquier is a climatologist working at UCLouvain (Belgium) on the links between Arctic sea ice and ocean heat transport. He uses climate models and different kinds of observations to make these analyses.

Steve Delhaye is a young climatologist working at UCLouvain on the climatic impacts at mid-latitudes due to Arctic sea ice loss. Several climate models are used to study these impacts.