Back to search


Mechanism and prediction of the new Arctic climate system (MAPARC)

Alternative title: Mekanisme og prediksjon av det nye arktiske klimasystemet (MAPARC)

Awarded: NOK 10.0 mill.

Project Manager:

Project Number:


Project Period:

2022 - 2026

Funding received from:


Partner countries:

The Sixth Assessment Report produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2021 stated that “the linkage between the Arctic warming and the mid-latitude circulation is an example of contrasting lines of evidence that cannot yet be reconciled.” To better understand and predict Arctic changes and their relationship with the climate systems at mid- and high latitudes, the bilateral project – MAPARC - brings an innovative collaboration between Norway and China. The ocean, atmosphere and cryosphere (snow and ice) in the Arctic have already seen, and will continue experiencing changes that have never occurred in that region in the past century. Some aspects of climate systems fall into the conditions that are furthest away from what were previously ‘normal’. The Arctic is dominated by longer open-water periods, thinner and more fragile sea-ice, stronger oceanic and atmospheric warming, changes in atmospheric circulation and more frequent extremes, indicating an emerging new Arctic. MAPARC will obtain credible knowledge on the causes and impacts of new aspects of Arctic changes to demystify the Arctic-midlatitude climate linkage. These knowledges will guide us to develop and adopt advanced prediction methods that work better for the new Arctic. To do that, MAPARC will: (1) quantify the changes of Arctic air-sea-ice interaction due to the increasing of thinner and easier thawing Arctic sea ice, (2) identify whether or how deeper Arctic warming can affect the climate across the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, (3) determine the changes of atmospheric circulation regimes and their impacts on extreme weather events, and (4) develop new prediction methods and models to improve the skill and reliability of monthly to seasonal prediction of mid- and high latitudes climate. MAPARC will consolidate the almost 20 years’ Norwegian-Chinese partnership in climate research, which has been established at the platform of Nansen-Zhu International Research Centre.

Arctic is entering into a new era where there is more open ocean in summer and increasing area of newly-formed sea ice in winter. Meanwhile, the new Arctic is undergoing a deep warming extending from the interior ocean to the upper troposphere. It implies significant changes of ocean conditions, atmosphere circulations and climate patterns, bringing challenges to the implementation of existing knowledge on the prediction of new Arctic climate system. MAPARC aims to enhance the mechanistic understanding of Arctic climate change and to improve the prediction of new Arctic climate system. We will quantify the observed changes of Arctic air-sea-ice interaction due to the increased area of newly-formed sea ice, and use state-of-the-art coupled climate model and regional atmospheric model to confirm the underlying thermodynamic feedbacks. Existing multi-model large ensemble climate simulations will be used to identify the local and remote processes responsible for the Arctic near-surface warming and deep warming and their downstream effects (e.g., extremes over Eurasia). We will then use the Norwegian Earth System Model and modern techniques such as causal effect networks to confirm the causality of climate linkages. We will further use the large ensemble simulations to assess the effects of externally-forced (e.g., radiative forcing), boundary forcing (e.g., sea ice and ocean temperature) and internal stochastic forcing on the changes of mid-high latitude atmospheric circulations such as stratospheric polar vortex, jet stream and blocking. Equipped with enhanced mechanistic understanding, we will then use the dynamical climate prediction systems and advanced approaches including statistical downscaling and machine learning to develop hybrid models for the prediction of new Arctic climate system. The well-established collaboration between the Norwegian and Chinese PIs and the complementary expertise and technology of the project group will ensure the success of MAPARC.

Funding scheme: