Using observational evidence and advanced statistical methods (K-mean clustering), we studied natural modes of variability in key Arctic climate variables (i.e. sea ice concentration, sea surface and near surface air temperature). The main objective was to identify spatio-temporal coherence in the series and lag-lead correlations between variables after detrending them.
Sea ice concentrations show three main modes of variability, as previously found. Both atmospheric near surface temperature and sea surface temperatures can individually affect sea ice and partly explain some regional patterns of natural variability on seasonal timescales. Pan-arctic sea ice extent shows a delayed response of 1-3 months to near surface air temperature and about a year to sea surface temperature variations.