Welcome to Dartmouth’s iisPacs group! The iisPacs project started on September 1, 2010 and is funded by the Arctic Natural Science program of the National Science Foundation. The objective of this three-year project is to quantify how sea ice extent affects sea surface evaporation and land precipitation in Arctic regions, and how this effect impacts the Arctic Climate System.

The hypothesis of iisPacs is that a decrease in sea ice extent would open up the ocean surface, resulting in increased evaporation and land precipitation. The link between sea ice and precipitation impacts the climate system through its effect on land surface albedo, glacial mass balance, and fresh water discharge to the ocean which impacts ocean circulation.

The project involves collecting storm-by-storm precipitation samples from a number of Arctic sites, and measuring the oxygen and hydrogen isotopic ratios of the water. The isotopic data will be used in combination with related weather information (e.g., storm tracks), sea ice satellite observations, and numerical models to quantify how the amount of land precipitation is regulated by sea ice extent.

sea ice
iisPacs PI, Eric Posmentier, setting up a weather station with a student in Ikerasaarsuk, Greenland.

sea ice
Sea ice photographed during the SHEBA project.

(Don Perovich, CRREL)