Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 42–50 | Cite as

Variability of summer cloudiness in the Arctic Basin

  • G. J. Kukla
  • D. A. Robinson


The extent and thickness of clouds in the Arctic Basin varied considerably in space and time in the late springs and summers of 1977–1979. While, on the average, clouds covered two thirds or more of the basin at any one time, cloud-free episodes were particularly common from the middle of June to late July and persisted locally for several days or even weeks. The central Arctic was less cloudy than the ocean zones closer to the coast in spring, but more cloudy in summer. Most clouds were semi-transparent, allowing recognition of underlying surface features. Optically thick clouds with middle and high level tops were associated with low pressure systems and with atmospheric flows from lower latitudes at the surface and aloft. Cloud-free skies were most frequent in high pressure cells. Climate models used to assess the impact of CO2 and other trace gases on the radiation budget in the high latitudes should account for the heterogeneity of cloud extent and thickness in the Arctic Basin.


Waste Water High Latitude Lower Latitude Pressure System Late Spring 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. J. Kukla
    • 1
  • D. A. Robinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia UniversityPalisadesUSA

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