Surface temperatures across the Arctic are increasing at nearly twice the rate of the global mean in response to natural and forced climate change, known as “Arctic Amplification”. This warming is further magnified as a result of positive feedbacks in the climate system.
Evaluating the effects of melting sea ice as a result of Arctic Amplification can affect planetary vertical wave propagation from the troposphere into the stratosphere and have important implications on the magnitude and location of the polar vortex. By understanding this complex relationship, we may be able to better simulate and detect changes in the prevalence of extreme weather events in the midlatitudes, particularly across the northeastern United States.,,
For my PhD research, I am working in Dr. Gudrun Magnusdottir’s Research Group to apply a series of GCM ensemble experiments to understand the dynamics and relative forcings of natural and anthropogenic climate change on this high latitude circulation and resultant teleconnection.
 Thoman, R.L., U. Bhatt, P. Bieniek, B. Brettschneider, M. Brubaker, S. Danielson, Z.M. Labe, R. Lader, W. Meier, G. Sheffield, and J. Walsh (2019): The record low Bering Sea ice extent in 2018: Context, impacts and an assessment of the role of anthropogenic climate change [in “Explaining Extreme Events of 2018 from a Climate Perspective”]. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc, DOI:10.1175/BAMS-D-19-0175.1
 Labe, Z.M., Y. Peings, and G. Magnusdottir (2019). The effect of QBO phase on the atmospheric response to projected Arctic sea ice loss in early winter, Geophysical Research Letters, DOI:10.1029/2019GL083095
[Plain Language Summary]
 Labe, Z.M., Y. Peings, and G. Magnusdottir (2018), Contributions of ice thickness to the atmospheric response from projected Arctic sea ice loss, Geophysical Research Letters, DOI:10.1029/2018GL078158
[Plain Language Summary][Arctic Today]
 Labe, Z.M., G. Magnusdottir, and H.S. Stern (2018), Variability of Arctic sea ice thickness using PIOMAS and the CESM Large Ensemble, Journal of Climate, DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0436.1
[Plain Language Summary]
 Labe, Z.M., November, 2019: Understanding Our Changing Arctic. Polar Bears International. Annual Magazine.
 Here we run a series of large ensemble simulations (300 members each) to explore the robustness of the stratospheric response to Arctic sea-ice loss. We follow the new PAMIP protocol using the SC-WACCM4 and E3SM models. We address the importance of the signal-to-noise ratio in assessing responses in the stratosphere.
 Conducting a series of six AMIP-style simulations using a high-top AGCM (WACCM4), we explore the role of various forcings and their linear interference (including sea ice, SST, Eurasian snow cover, and the QBO) on the large-scale circulation response in the last ~40 years. We also address the relative importance of the stratospheric pathway on the dynamical response to recent Arctic Amplification (1979-2016).
 Here we show that the phase of the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) modulates the atmospheric response to Arctic sea ice loss. We conducted idealized experiments using WACCM4 to composite the phases of the QBO (westerly, easterly, and neutral) and assess its importance (mechanisms) on the stratosphere-troposphere pathway. The QBO in WACCM4 is prescribed by relaxing equatorial zonal winds between 86 and 4 hPa to observed radiosonde data (28-month period). We conduct a series of large ensemble simulations (7 experiments at 200 years each) to increase the signal-to-noise ratio in the stratosphere.
 Labe, Z.M., Y. Peings, and G. Magnusdottir. Detection of Signal in the Large-Scale Circulation Response to Arctic Sea-Ice Decline, 33rd Conference on Climate Variability and Change, Boston, MA (Jan 2020).
 Magnusdottir, G., Y. Peings, and Z.M. Labe. Response to sea-ice loss under the Polar Amplification MIP protocol in extended ensembles of simulations, 2019 American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (Dec 2019).
 Labe, Z.M. Melting Ice: Context, Causes, and Consequences of Polar Amplification. Kavli Frontiers of Science, National Academy of Science, Jerusalem, Israel (Sep 2019). (Invited)
 Labe, Z.M. Projections of a future Arctic climate. Geography Department, Irvine Valley College, CA (May 2019). (Invited)
 Labe, Z.M., G. Magnusdottir, and Y. Peings. Linking the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation and Projected Arctic Sea-Ice Loss to Stratospheric Variability in Early Winter, 20th Conference on Middle Atmosphere, Phoenix, AZ (Jan 2019).
 Holman, A., R. Thoman, Z.M. Labe, and J.E. Walsh. Not Just Chance: Ocean and Atmospheric Factors in the Record Low Bering Sea Ice Winter of 2017-2018 and effects on health and safety, 2018 American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting, Washington, DC (Dec 2018).
 Magnusdottir, G., Z.M. Labe, and Y. Peings. The role of the stratosphere, including the QBO, in Arctic to mid-latitude teleconnections associated with sea-ice forcing, 2018 American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting, Washington, DC (Dec 2018).
 Labe, Z.M., Y. Peings, H.S. Stern, and G. Magnusdottir. Arctic sea ice thickness variability and its influence on the atmospheric response to projected sea ice loss. Machine Learning and Physical Sciences (MAPS) Symposium, University of California, Irvine (May 2018).
 Labe, Z.M. Disentangling Arctic climate change and variability. Geography Department, Irvine Valley College, CA (Apr 2018). (Invited)
 Thoman, R. and Z.M. Labe., 2017−18 Sea Ice in Western Alaska during the 2017−18 Season: Historical Context and Possible Drivers, Western Alaska Interdisciplinary Science Conference and Forum, Nome, AK (Mar 2018).
 Labe, Z.M., G. Magnusdottir, and H.S. Stern. Variability and future projections of Arctic sea ice thickness. Understanding the Causes and Consequences of Polar Amplification Workshop, Aspen Global Change Institute, Aspen, CO (Jun 2017).
 Labe, Z.M., G. Magnusdottir, and H.S. Stern. Arctic Sea Ice Thickness Variability and the Large-scale Atmospheric Circulation Using Satellite Observations, PIOMAS, and the CESM Large Ensemble, 14th Conference on Polar Meteorology and Oceanography, Seattle, WA (Jan 2017).
 Labe, Z.M. Communicating the Future of Arctic Climate Change, Natural Sciences Division, Fullerton College, CA (Nov 2016). (Invited)
 Labe, Z.M., G. Magnusdottir, and H.S. Stern. Making the most of Arctic sea ice thickness observations, Symposium on Recent Advances in Data Science, University of California, Irvine (Oct 2016).