WorldWideScience

Sample records for polewards increased sea-ice

  1. Poleward upgliding Siberian atmospheric rivers over sea ice heat up Arctic upper air.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komatsu, Kensuke K; Alexeev, Vladimir A; Repina, Irina A; Tachibana, Yoshihiro

    2018-02-13

    We carried out upper air measurements with radiosondes during the summer over the Arctic Ocean from an icebreaker moving poleward from an ice-free region, through the ice edge, and into a region of thick ice. Rapid warming of the Arctic is a significant environmental issue that occurs not only at the surface but also throughout the troposphere. In addition to the widely accepted mechanisms responsible for the increase of tropospheric warming during the summer over the Arctic, we showed a new potential contributing process to the increase, based on our direct observations and supporting numerical simulations and statistical analyses using a long-term reanalysis dataset. We refer to this new process as "Siberian Atmospheric Rivers (SARs)". Poleward upglides of SARs over cold air domes overlying sea ice provide the upper atmosphere with extra heat via condensation of water vapour. This heating drives increased buoyancy and further strengthens the ascent and heating of the mid-troposphere. This process requires the combination of SARs and sea ice as a land-ocean-atmosphere system, the implication being that large-scale heat and moisture transport from the lower latitudes can remotely amplify the warming of the Arctic troposphere in the summer.

  2. Increased Surface Wind Speeds Follow Diminishing Arctic Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mioduszewski, J.; Vavrus, S. J.; Wang, M.; Holland, M. M.; Landrum, L.

    2017-12-01

    Projections of Arctic sea ice through the end of the 21st century indicate the likelihood of a strong reduction in ice area and thickness in all seasons, leading to a substantial thermodynamic influence on the overlying atmosphere. This is likely to have an effect on winds over the Arctic Basin, due to changes in atmospheric stability and/or baroclinicity. Prior research on future Arctic wind changes is limited and has focused mainly on the practical impacts on wave heights in certain seasons. Here we attempt to identify patterns and likely mechanisms responsible for surface wind changes in all seasons across the Arctic, particularly those associated with sea ice loss in the marginal ice zone. Sea level pressure, near-surface (10 m) and upper-air (850 hPa) wind speeds, and lower-level dynamic and thermodynamic variables from the Community Earth System Model Large Ensemble Project (CESM-LE) were analyzed for the periods 1971-2000 and 2071-2100 to facilitate comparison between a present-day and future climate. Mean near-surface wind speeds over the Arctic Ocean are projected to increase by late century in all seasons but especially during autumn and winter, when they strengthen by up to 50% locally. The most extreme wind speeds in the 90th percentile change even more, increasing in frequency by over 100%. The strengthened winds are closely linked to decreasing lower-tropospheric stability resulting from the loss of sea ice cover and consequent surface warming (locally over 20 ºC warmer in autumn and winter). A muted pattern of these future changes is simulated in CESM-LE historical runs from 1920-2005. The enhanced winds near the surface are mostly collocated with weaker winds above the boundary layer during autumn and winter, implying more vigorous vertical mixing and a drawdown of high-momentum air.The implications of stronger future winds include increased coastal hazards and the potential for a positive feedback with sea ice by generating higher winds and

  3. Future increases in Arctic precipitation linked to local evaporation and sea-ice retreat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bintanja, R; Selten, F M

    2014-05-22

    Precipitation changes projected for the end of the twenty-first century show an increase of more than 50 per cent in the Arctic regions. This marked increase, which is among the highest globally, has previously been attributed primarily to enhanced poleward moisture transport from lower latitudes. Here we use state-of-the-art global climate models to show that the projected increases in Arctic precipitation over the twenty-first century, which peak in late autumn and winter, are instead due mainly to strongly intensified local surface evaporation (maximum in winter), and only to a lesser degree due to enhanced moisture inflow from lower latitudes (maximum in late summer and autumn). Moreover, we show that the enhanced surface evaporation results mainly from retreating winter sea ice, signalling an amplified Arctic hydrological cycle. This demonstrates that increases in Arctic precipitation are firmly linked to Arctic warming and sea-ice decline. As a result, the Arctic mean precipitation sensitivity (4.5 per cent increase per degree of temperature warming) is much larger than the global value (1.6 to 1.9 per cent per kelvin). The associated seasonally varying increase in Arctic precipitation is likely to increase river discharge and snowfall over ice sheets (thereby affecting global sea level), and could even affect global climate through freshening of the Arctic Ocean and subsequent modulations of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation.

  4. Greenhouse gas mitigation can reduce sea-ice loss and increase polar bear persistence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstrup, Steven C.; Deweaver, E.T.; Douglas, David C.; Marcot, B.G.; Durner, George M.; Bitz, C.M.; Bailey, D.A.

    2010-01-01

    On the basis of projected losses of their essential sea-ice habitats, a United States Geological Survey research team concluded in 2007 that two-thirds of the worlds polar bears (Ursus maritimus) could disappear by mid-century if business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions continue. That projection, however, did not consider the possible benefits of greenhouse gas mitigation. A key question is whether temperature increases lead to proportional losses of sea-ice habitat, or whether sea-ice cover crosses a tipping point and irreversibly collapses when temperature reaches a critical threshold. Such a tipping point would mean future greenhouse gas mitigation would confer no conservation benefits to polar bears. Here we show, using a general circulation model, that substantially more sea-ice habitat would be retained if greenhouse gas rise is mitigated. We also show, with Bayesian network model outcomes, that increased habitat retention under greenhouse gas mitigation means that polar bears could persist throughout the century in greater numbers and more areas than in the business-as-usual case. Our general circulation model outcomes did not reveal thresholds leading to irreversible loss of ice; instead, a linear relationship between global mean surface air temperature and sea-ice habitat substantiated the hypothesis that sea-ice thermodynamics can overcome albedo feedbacks proposed to cause sea-ice tipping points. Our outcomes indicate that rapid summer ice losses in models and observations represent increased volatility of a thinning sea-ice cover, rather than tipping-point behaviour. Mitigation-driven Bayesian network outcomes show that previously predicted declines in polar bear distribution and numbers are not unavoidable. Because polar bears are sentinels of the Arctic marine ecosystem and trends in their sea-ice habitats foreshadow future global changes, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions to improve polar bear status would have conservation benefits throughout

  5. Greenhouse gas mitigation can reduce sea-ice loss and increase polar bear persistence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstrup, Steven C; Deweaver, Eric T; Douglas, David C; Marcot, Bruce G; Durner, George M; Bitz, Cecilia M; Bailey, David A

    2010-12-16

    On the basis of projected losses of their essential sea-ice habitats, a United States Geological Survey research team concluded in 2007 that two-thirds of the world's polar bears (Ursus maritimus) could disappear by mid-century if business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions continue. That projection, however, did not consider the possible benefits of greenhouse gas mitigation. A key question is whether temperature increases lead to proportional losses of sea-ice habitat, or whether sea-ice cover crosses a tipping point and irreversibly collapses when temperature reaches a critical threshold. Such a tipping point would mean future greenhouse gas mitigation would confer no conservation benefits to polar bears. Here we show, using a general circulation model, that substantially more sea-ice habitat would be retained if greenhouse gas rise is mitigated. We also show, with Bayesian network model outcomes, that increased habitat retention under greenhouse gas mitigation means that polar bears could persist throughout the century in greater numbers and more areas than in the business-as-usual case. Our general circulation model outcomes did not reveal thresholds leading to irreversible loss of ice; instead, a linear relationship between global mean surface air temperature and sea-ice habitat substantiated the hypothesis that sea-ice thermodynamics can overcome albedo feedbacks proposed to cause sea-ice tipping points. Our outcomes indicate that rapid summer ice losses in models and observations represent increased volatility of a thinning sea-ice cover, rather than tipping-point behaviour. Mitigation-driven Bayesian network outcomes show that previously predicted declines in polar bear distribution and numbers are not unavoidable. Because polar bears are sentinels of the Arctic marine ecosystem and trends in their sea-ice habitats foreshadow future global changes, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions to improve polar bear status would have conservation benefits throughout

  6. Increased Land Use by Chukchi Sea Polar Bears in Relation to Changing Sea Ice Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, Karyn D; Wilson, Ryan R; Regehr, Eric V; St Martin, Michelle; Douglas, David C; Olson, Jay

    2015-01-01

    Recent observations suggest that polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are increasingly using land habitats in some parts of their range, where they have minimal access to their preferred prey, likely in response to loss of their sea ice habitat associated with climatic warming. We used location data from female polar bears fit with satellite radio collars to compare land use patterns in the Chukchi Sea between two periods (1986-1995 and 2008-2013) when substantial summer sea-ice loss occurred. In both time periods, polar bears predominantly occupied sea-ice, although land was used during the summer sea-ice retreat and during the winter for maternal denning. However, the proportion of bears on land for > 7 days between August and October increased between the two periods from 20.0% to 38.9%, and the average duration on land increased by 30 days. The majority of bears that used land in the summer and for denning came to Wrangel and Herald Islands (Russia), highlighting the importance of these northernmost land habitats to Chukchi Sea polar bears. Where bears summered and denned, and how long they spent there, was related to the timing and duration of sea ice retreat. Our results are consistent with other studies supporting increased land use as a common response of polar bears to sea-ice loss. Implications of increased land use for Chukchi Sea polar bears are unclear, because a recent study observed no change in body condition or reproductive indices between the two periods considered here. This result suggests that the ecology of this region may provide a degree of resilience to sea ice loss. However, projections of continued sea ice loss suggest that polar bears in the Chukchi Sea and other parts of the Arctic may increasingly use land habitats in the future, which has the potential to increase nutritional stress and human-polar bear interactions.

  7. Increased Land Use by Chukchi Sea Polar Bears in Relation to Changing Sea Ice Conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karyn D Rode

    Full Text Available Recent observations suggest that polar bears (Ursus maritimus are increasingly using land habitats in some parts of their range, where they have minimal access to their preferred prey, likely in response to loss of their sea ice habitat associated with climatic warming. We used location data from female polar bears fit with satellite radio collars to compare land use patterns in the Chukchi Sea between two periods (1986-1995 and 2008-2013 when substantial summer sea-ice loss occurred. In both time periods, polar bears predominantly occupied sea-ice, although land was used during the summer sea-ice retreat and during the winter for maternal denning. However, the proportion of bears on land for > 7 days between August and October increased between the two periods from 20.0% to 38.9%, and the average duration on land increased by 30 days. The majority of bears that used land in the summer and for denning came to Wrangel and Herald Islands (Russia, highlighting the importance of these northernmost land habitats to Chukchi Sea polar bears. Where bears summered and denned, and how long they spent there, was related to the timing and duration of sea ice retreat. Our results are consistent with other studies supporting increased land use as a common response of polar bears to sea-ice loss. Implications of increased land use for Chukchi Sea polar bears are unclear, because a recent study observed no change in body condition or reproductive indices between the two periods considered here. This result suggests that the ecology of this region may provide a degree of resilience to sea ice loss. However, projections of continued sea ice loss suggest that polar bears in the Chukchi Sea and other parts of the Arctic may increasingly use land habitats in the future, which has the potential to increase nutritional stress and human-polar bear interactions.

  8. An Interdecadal Increase in the Spring Bering Sea Ice Cover in 2007

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renguang eWu

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The sea ice coverage of the Northern Hemisphere as a whole has been declining since 1979. On contrary, the March-April sea ice concentration in the Bering Sea experienced a prominent increase in year 2007. The present study documents the changes in surface air temperature, surface heat fluxes, sea surface temperature, and atmospheric circulation accompanying the above interdecadal change in the Bering Sea ice concentration. It is shown that an obvious decrease in surface air temperature, sea surface temperature, and surface net shortwave radiation occurred in concurrent with the sea ice increase. The surface air temperature decrease is associated with a large-scale circulation change, featuring a decrease in sea level pressure extending from the Pacific coast of Alaska to northwestern Europe and an increase in sea level pressure over the high-latitude Asia and the high-latitude North Atlantic Ocean. The enhancement of northwesterly winds over the Bering Sea led to a large decrease in surface air temperature there. The associated increase in upward turbulent heat flux cooled the sea surface temperature in the waters south of the ice covered region, favoring the southward expansion of ice extent. This, together with a positive ice-albedo feedback, amplified the sea ice anomalies after they were initiated, leading to the interdecadal increase in sea ice in the Bering Sea.

  9. Aerosol-driven increase in Arctic sea ice over the middle of the twentieth century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagné, Marie-Ève; Fyfe, John C.; Gillett, Nathan P.; Polyakov, Igor V.; Flato, Gregory M.

    2017-07-01

    Updated observational data sets without climatological infilling show that there was an increase in sea ice concentration in the eastern Arctic between 1950 and 1975, contrary to earlier climatology infilled observational data sets that show weak interannual variations during that time period. We here present climate model simulations showing that this observed sea ice concentration increase was primarily a consequence of cooling induced by increasing anthropogenic aerosols and natural forcing. Indeed, sulphur dioxide emissions, which lead to the formation of sulphate aerosols, peaked around 1980 causing a sharp increase in the burden of sulphate between the 1950s and 1970s; but since 1980, the burden has dropped. Our climate model simulations show that the cooling contribution of aerosols offset the warming effect of increasing greenhouse gases over the midtwentieth century resulting in the expansion of the Arctic sea ice cover. These results challenge the perception that Arctic sea ice extent was unperturbed by human influence until the 1970s, suggesting instead that it exhibited earlier forced multidecadal variations, with implications for our understanding of impacts and adaptation in human and natural Arctic systems.

  10. Increased Arctic sea ice drift alters adult female polar bear movements and energetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M; Douglas, David C; Albeke, Shannon E; Whiteman, John P; Amstrup, Steven C; Richardson, Evan; Wilson, Ryan R; Ben-David, Merav

    2017-09-01

    Recent reductions in thickness and extent have increased drift rates of Arctic sea ice. Increased ice drift could significantly affect the movements and the energy balance of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) which forage, nearly exclusively, on this substrate. We used radio-tracking and ice drift data to quantify the influence of increased drift on bear movements, and we modeled the consequences for energy demands of adult females in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas during two periods with different sea ice characteristics. Westward and northward drift of the sea ice used by polar bears in both regions increased between 1987-1998 and 1999-2013. To remain within their home ranges, polar bears responded to the higher westward ice drift with greater eastward movements, while their movements north in the spring and south in fall were frequently aided by ice motion. To compensate for more rapid westward ice drift in recent years, polar bears covered greater daily distances either by increasing their time spent active (7.6%-9.6%) or by increasing their travel speed (8.5%-8.9%). This increased their calculated annual energy expenditure by 1.8%-3.6% (depending on region and reproductive status), a cost that could be met by capturing an additional 1-3 seals/year. Polar bears selected similar habitats in both periods, indicating that faster drift did not alter habitat preferences. Compounding reduced foraging opportunities that result from habitat loss; changes in ice drift, and associated activity increases, likely exacerbate the physiological stress experienced by polar bears in a warming Arctic. Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  11. Impact of increasing antarctic glacial freshwater release on regional sea-ice cover in the Southern Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merino, Nacho; Jourdain, Nicolas C.; Le Sommer, Julien; Goosse, Hugues; Mathiot, Pierre; Durand, Gael

    2018-01-01

    The sensitivity of Antarctic sea-ice to increasing glacial freshwater release into the Southern Ocean is studied in a series of 31-year ocean/sea-ice/iceberg model simulations. Glaciological estimates of ice-shelf melting and iceberg calving are used to better constrain the spatial distribution and magnitude of freshwater forcing around Antarctica. Two scenarios of glacial freshwater forcing have been designed to account for a decadal perturbation in glacial freshwater release to the Southern Ocean. For the first time, this perturbation explicitly takes into consideration the spatial distribution of changes in the volume of Antarctic ice shelves, which is found to be a key component of changes in freshwater release. In addition, glacial freshwater-induced changes in sea ice are compared to typical changes induced by the decadal evolution of atmospheric states. Our results show that, in general, the increase in glacial freshwater release increases Antarctic sea ice extent. But the response is opposite in some regions like the coastal Amundsen Sea, implying that distinct physical mechanisms are involved in the response. We also show that changes in freshwater forcing may induce large changes in sea-ice thickness, explaining about one half of the total change due to the combination of atmospheric and freshwater changes. The regional contrasts in our results suggest a need for improving the representation of freshwater sources and their evolution in climate models.

  12. Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perovich, D.; Gerland, S.; Hendricks, S.; Meier, Walter N.; Nicolaus, M.; Richter-Menge, J.; Tschudi, M.

    2013-01-01

    During 2013, Arctic sea ice extent remained well below normal, but the September 2013 minimum extent was substantially higher than the record-breaking minimum in 2012. Nonetheless, the minimum was still much lower than normal and the long-term trend Arctic September extent is -13.7 per decade relative to the 1981-2010 average. The less extreme conditions this year compared to 2012 were due to cooler temperatures and wind patterns that favored retention of ice through the summer. Sea ice thickness and volume remained near record-low levels, though indications are of slightly thicker ice compared to the record low of 2012.

  13. Contrasting Arctic and Antarctic atmospheric responses to future sea-ice loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    England, M.; Polvani, L. M.; Sun, L.

    2017-12-01

    By the end of this century, the annual mean Antarctic sea ice area is projected to decline by over a third, an amount similar to that in the Arctic, but the effect of Antarctic sea ice loss on the atmosphere remains largely unexplored. Using the Community Earth Systems Model (CESM) Whole Atmosphere Coupled Climate Model (WACCM), we investigate the effect of future Antarctic sea ice loss, and contrast it with its Arctic counterpart. This is accomplished by analyzing integrations of the model with historic and future sea ice levels, using the RCP8.5 scenario. This allows us to disentangle the effect of future sea ice loss on the atmosphere from other aspects of the coupled system. We find that both Antarctic and Arctic sea ice loss act to shift the tropospheric jet equatorwards, counteracting the poleward shift due to increases in greenhouse gases. Although the total forcing to the atmosphere is similar in both hemispheres, the response to Arctic sea ice loss is larger in amplitude and but more seasonally varying, while the response in the Antarctic persists throughout the year but with a smaller amplitude. Furthermore, the atmospheric temperature response over the Antarctic is trapped closer to the surface than in the Arctic, and perhaps surprisingly, we find that the surface temperature response to Antarctic sea ice loss is unable to penetrate the Antarctic continent.

  14. Changes in Arctic sea ice result in increasing light transmittance and absorption

    OpenAIRE

    Nicolaus, Marcel; Katlein, Christian; Maslanik, J.; Hendricks, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    Arctic sea ice has declined and become thinner and younger (more seasonal) during the last decade. One consequence of this is that the surface energy budget of the Arctic Ocean is changing. While the role of surface albedo has been studied intensively, it is still widely unknown how much light penetrates through sea ice into the upper ocean, affecting seaice mass balance, ecosystems, and geochemical processes. Here we present the first large-scale under-ice light measurem...

  15. The effect of snow/sea ice type on the response of albedo and light penetration depth (e-folding depth to increasing black carbon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Marks

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The optical properties of snow/sea ice vary with age and by the processes they were formed, giving characteristic types of snow and sea ice. The response of albedo and light penetration depth (e-folding depth to increasing mass ratio of black carbon is shown to depend on the snow and sea ice type and the thickness of the snow or sea ice. The response of albedo and e-folding depth of three different types of snow (cold polar snow, wind-packed snow and melting snow and three sea ice (multi-year ice, first-year ice and melting sea ice to increasing mass ratio of black carbon is calculated using a coupled atmosphere–snow/sea ice radiative-transfer model (TUV-snow, over the optical wavelengths of 300–800 nm. The snow and sea ice types are effectively defined by a scattering cross-section, density and asymmetry parameter. The relative change in albedo and e-folding depth of each of the three snow and three sea ice types with increasing mass ratio of black carbon is considered relative to a base case of 1 ng g−1 of black carbon. The relative response of each snow and sea ice type is intercompared to examine how different types of snow and sea ice respond relative to each other. The relative change in albedo of a melting snowpack is a factor of four more responsive to additions of black carbon compared to cold polar snow over a black carbon increase from 1 to 50 ng g−1, while the relative change in albedo of a melting sea ice is a factor of two more responsive to additions of black carbon compared to multi-year ice for the same increase in mass ratio of black carbon. The response of e-folding depth is effectively not dependent on snow/sea ice type. The albedo of sea ice is more responsive to increasing mass ratios of black carbon than snow.

  16. The effects of additional black carbon on Arctic sea ice surface albedo: variation with sea ice type and snow cover

    OpenAIRE

    A. A. Marks; M. D. King

    2013-01-01

    Black carbon in sea ice will decrease sea ice surface albedo through increased absorption of incident solar radiation, exacerbating sea ice melting. Previous literature has reported different albedo responses to additions of black carbon in sea ice and has not considered how a snow cover may mitigate the effect of black carbon in sea ice. Sea ice is predominately snow covered. Visible light absorption and light scattering coefficients are calculated for a typical first year and multi-y...

  17. Antarctic sea ice increase consistent with intrinsic variability of the Amundsen Sea Low

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, John; Hosking, J. Scott; Marshall, Gareth J.; Phillips, Tony; Bracegirdle, Thomas J.

    2016-04-01

    We investigate the relationship between atmospheric circulation variability and the recent trends in Antarctic sea ice extent (SIE) using Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) atmospheric data, ECMWF Interim reanalysis fields and passive microwave satellite data processed with the Bootstrap version 2 algorithm. Over 1979-2013 the annual mean total Antarctic SIE increased at a rate of 195 × 103 km2 dec-1 (1.6 % dec-1), p 4.0 % dec-1) has been in the Ross Sea sector. Off West Antarctica there is a high correlation between trends in SIE and trends in the near-surface winds. The Ross Sea SIE seasonal trends are positive throughout the year, but largest in spring. The stronger meridional flow over the Ross Sea has been driven by a deepening of the Amundsen Sea Low (ASL). Pre-industrial control and historical simulations from CMIP5 indicate that the observed deepening of the ASL and stronger southerly flow over the Ross Sea are within the bounds of modeled intrinsic variability. The spring trend would need to continue for another 11 years for it to fall outside the 2 standard deviation range seen in 90 % of the simulations.

  18. Greenhouse gas mitigation can reduce sea-ice loss and increase polar bear persistence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven C. Amstrup; Eric T. DeWeaver; David C. Douglas; Bruce G. Marcot; George M. Durner; Cecilia M. Bitz; David A. Bailey

    2010-01-01

    On the basis of projected losses of their essential sea-ice habitats, a United States Geological Survey research team concluded in 2007 that two-thirds of the world's polar bears (Ursus maritimus) could disappear by mid-century if business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions continue. That projection, however, did not consider the possible...

  19. Range contraction and increasing isolation of a polar bear subpopulation in an era of sea-ice loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laidre, Kristin L; Born, Erik W; Atkinson, Stephen N; Wiig, Øystein; Andersen, Liselotte W; Lunn, Nicholas J; Dyck, Markus; Regehr, Eric V; McGovern, Richard; Heagerty, Patrick

    2018-02-01

    Climate change is expected to result in range shifts and habitat fragmentation for many species. In the Arctic, loss of sea ice will reduce barriers to dispersal or eliminate movement corridors, resulting in increased connectivity or geographic isolation with sweeping implications for conservation. We used satellite telemetry, data from individually marked animals (research and harvest), and microsatellite genetic data to examine changes in geographic range, emigration, and interpopulation connectivity of the Baffin Bay (BB) polar bear ( Ursus maritimus ) subpopulation over a 25-year period of sea-ice loss. Satellite telemetry collected from n  = 43 (1991-1995) and 38 (2009-2015) adult females revealed a significant contraction in subpopulation range size (95% bivariate normal kernel range) in most months and seasons, with the most marked reduction being a 70% decline in summer from 716,000 km 2 (SE 58,000) to 211,000 km 2 (SE 23,000) ( p  Bears in the 2000s were less likely to leave BB, with significant reductions in the numbers of bears moving into Davis Strait (DS) in winter and Lancaster Sound (LS) in summer. Harvest recoveries suggested both short and long-term fidelity to BB remained high over both periods (83-99% of marked bears remained in BB). Genetic analyses using eight polymorphic microsatellites confirmed a previously documented differentiation between BB, DS, and LS; yet weakly differentiated BB from Kane Basin (KB) for the first time. Our results provide the first multiple lines of evidence for an increasingly geographically and functionally isolated subpopulation of polar bears in the context of long-term sea-ice loss. This may be indicative of future patterns for other polar bear subpopulations under climate change.

  20. Arctic landfast sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konig, Christof S.

    Landfast ice is sea ice which forms and remains fixed along a coast, where it is attached either to the shore, or held between shoals or grounded icebergs. Landfast ice fundamentally modifies the momentum exchange between atmosphere and ocean, as compared to pack ice. It thus affects the heat and freshwater exchange between air and ocean and impacts on the location of ocean upwelling and downwelling zones. Further, the landfast ice edge is essential for numerous Arctic mammals and Inupiat who depend on them for their subsistence. The current generation of sea ice models is not capable of reproducing certain aspects of landfast ice formation, maintenance, and disintegration even when the spatial resolution would be sufficient to resolve such features. In my work I develop a new ice model that permits the existence of landfast sea ice even in the presence of offshore winds, as is observed in mature. Based on viscous-plastic as well as elastic-viscous-plastic ice dynamics I add tensile strength to the ice rheology and re-derive the equations as well as numerical methods to solve them. Through numerical experiments on simplified domains, the effects of those changes are demonstrated. It is found that the modifications enable landfast ice modeling, as desired. The elastic-viscous-plastic rheology leads to initial velocity fluctuations within the landfast ice that weaken the ice sheet and break it up much faster than theoretically predicted. Solving the viscous-plastic rheology using an implicit numerical method avoids those waves and comes much closer to theoretical predictions. Improvements in landfast ice modeling can only verified in comparison to observed data. I have extracted landfast sea ice data of several decades from several sources to create a landfast sea ice climatology that can be used for that purpose. Statistical analysis of the data shows several factors that significantly influence landfast ice distribution: distance from the coastline, ocean depth, as

  1. [Reflectance of sea ice in Liaodong Bay].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhan-tang; Yang, Yue-zhong; Wang, Gui-fen; Cao, Wen-xi; Kong, Xiang-peng

    2010-07-01

    In the present study, the relationships between sea ice albedo and the bidirectional reflectance distribution in Liaodong Bay were investigated. The results indicate that: (1) sea ice albedo alpha(lambda) is closely related to the components of sea ice, the higher the particulate concentration in sea ice surface is, the lower the sea ice albedo alpha(lambda) is. On the contrary, the higher the bubble concentration in sea ice is, the higher sea ice albedo alpha(lambda) is. (2) Sea ice albedo alpha(lambda) is similar to the bidirectional reflectance factor R(f) when the probe locates at nadir. The R(f) would increase with the increase in detector zenith theta, and the correlation between R(f) and the detector azimuth would gradually increase. When the theta is located at solar zenith 63 degrees, the R(f) would reach the maximum, and the strongest correlation is also shown between the R(f) and the detector azimuth. (3) Different types of sea ice would have the different anisotropic reflectance factors.

  2. Under Sea Ice phytoplankton bloom detection and contamination in Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, C.; Zeng, T.; Xu, H.

    2017-12-01

    Previous researches reported compelling sea ice phytoplankton bloom in Arctic, while seldom reports studied about Antarctic. Here, lab experiment showed sea ice increased the visible light albedo of the water leaving radiance. Even a new formed sea ice of 10cm thickness increased water leaving radiance up to 4 times of its original bare water. Given that phytoplankton preferred growing and accumulating under the sea ice with thickness of 10cm-1m, our results showed that the changing rate of OC4 estimated [Chl-a] varied from 0.01-0.5mg/m3 to 0.2-0.3mg/m3, if the water covered by 10cm sea ice. Going further, varying thickness of sea ice modulated the changing rate of estimating [Chl-a] non-linearly, thus current routine OC4 model cannot estimate under sea ice [Chl-a] appropriately. Besides, marginal sea ice zone has a large amount of mixture regions containing sea ice, water and snow, where is favorable for phytoplankton. We applied 6S model to estimate the sea ice/snow contamination on sub-pixel water leaving radiance of 4.25km spatial resolution ocean color products. Results showed that sea ice/snow scale effectiveness overestimated [Chl-a] concentration based on routine band ratio OC4 model, which contamination increased with the rising fraction of sea ice/snow within one pixel. Finally, we analyzed the under sea ice bloom in Antarctica based on the [Chl-a] concentration trends during 21 days after sea ice retreating. Regardless of those overestimation caused by sea ice/snow sub scale contamination, we still did not see significant under sea ice blooms in Antarctica in 2012-2017 compared with Arctic. This research found that Southern Ocean is not favorable for under sea ice blooms and the phytoplankton bloom preferred to occur in at least 3 weeks after sea ice retreating.

  3. Increasing nest predation will be insufficient to maintain polar bear body condition in the face of sea ice loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dey, Cody J; Richardson, Evan; McGeachy, David; Iverson, Samuel A; Gilchrist, Hugh G; Semeniuk, Christina A D

    2017-05-01

    Climate change can influence interspecific interactions by differentially affecting species-specific phenology. In seasonal ice environments, there is evidence that polar bear predation of Arctic bird eggs is increasing because of earlier sea ice breakup, which forces polar bears into nearshore terrestrial environments where Arctic birds are nesting. Because polar bears can consume a large number of nests before becoming satiated, and because they can swim between island colonies, they could have dramatic influences on seabird and sea duck reproductive success. However, it is unclear whether nest foraging can provide an energetic benefit to polar bear populations, especially given the capacity of bird populations to redistribute in response to increasing predation pressure. In this study, we develop a spatially explicit agent-based model of the predator-prey relationship between polar bears and common eiders, a common and culturally important bird species for northern peoples. Our model is composed of two types of agents (polar bear agents and common eider hen agents) whose movements and decision heuristics are based on species-specific bioenergetic and behavioral ecological principles, and are influenced by historical and extrapolated sea ice conditions. Our model reproduces empirical findings that polar bear predation of bird nests is increasing and predicts an accelerating relationship between advancing ice breakup dates and the number of nests depredated. Despite increases in nest predation, our model predicts that polar bear body condition during the ice-free period will continue to decline. Finally, our model predicts that common eider nests will become more dispersed and will move closer to the mainland in response to increasing predation, possibly increasing their exposure to land-based predators and influencing the livelihood of local people that collect eider eggs and down. These results show that predator-prey interactions can have nonlinear responses to

  4. Loss of sea ice in the Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perovich, Donald K; Richter-Menge, Jacqueline A

    2009-01-01

    The Arctic sea ice cover is in decline. The areal extent of the ice cover has been decreasing for the past few decades at an accelerating rate. Evidence also points to a decrease in sea ice thickness and a reduction in the amount of thicker perennial sea ice. A general global warming trend has made the ice cover more vulnerable to natural fluctuations in atmospheric and oceanic forcing. The observed reduction in Arctic sea ice is a consequence of both thermodynamic and dynamic processes, including such factors as preconditioning of the ice cover, overall warming trends, changes in cloud coverage, shifts in atmospheric circulation patterns, increased export of older ice out of the Arctic, advection of ocean heat from the Pacific and North Atlantic, enhanced solar heating of the ocean, and the ice-albedo feedback. The diminishing Arctic sea ice is creating social, political, economic, and ecological challenges.

  5. Quaternary Sea-ice history in the Arctic Ocean based on a new Ostracode sea-ice proxy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, T. M.; Gemery, L.; Briggs, W.M.; Jakobsson, M.; Polyak, L.; Brouwers, E.M.

    2010-01-01

    Paleo-sea-ice history in the Arctic Ocean was reconstructed using the sea-ice dwelling ostracode Acetabulastoma arcticum from late Quaternary sediments from the Mendeleyev, Lomonosov, and Gakkel Ridges, the Morris Jesup Rise and the Yermak Plateau. Results suggest intermittently high levels of perennial sea ice in the central Arctic Ocean during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 (25-45 ka), minimal sea ice during the last deglacial (16-11 ka) and early Holocene thermal maximum (11-5 ka) and increasing sea ice during the mid-to-late Holocene (5-0 ka). Sediment core records from the Iceland and Rockall Plateaus show that perennial sea ice existed in these regions only during glacial intervals MIS 2, 4, and 6. These results show that sea ice exhibits complex temporal and spatial variability during different climatic regimes and that the development of modern perennial sea ice may be a relatively recent phenomenon. ?? 2010.

  6. Sea ice-albedo climate feedback mechanism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schramm, J.L.; Curry, J.A. [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); Ebert, E.E. [Bureau of Meterology Research Center, Melbourne (Australia)

    1995-02-01

    The sea ice-albedo feedback mechanism over the Arctic Ocean multiyear sea ice is investigated by conducting a series of experiments using several one-dimensional models of the coupled sea ice-atmosphere system. In its simplest form, ice-albedo feedback is thought to be associated with a decrease in the areal cover of snow and ice and a corresponding increase in the surface temperature, further decreasing the area cover of snow and ice. It is shown that the sea ice-albedo feedback can operate even in multiyear pack ice, without the disappearance of this ice, associated with internal processes occurring within the multiyear ice pack (e.g., duration of the snow cover, ice thickness, ice distribution, lead fraction, and melt pond characteristics). The strength of the ice-albedo feedback mechanism is compared for several different thermodynamic sea ice models: a new model that includes ice thickness distribution., the Ebert and Curry model, the Mayjut and Untersteiner model, and the Semtner level-3 and level-0 models. The climate forcing is chosen to be a perturbation of the surface heat flux, and cloud and water vapor feedbacks are inoperative so that the effects of the sea ice-albedo feedback mechanism can be isolated. The inclusion of melt ponds significantly strengthens the ice-albedo feedback, while the ice thickness distribution decreases the strength of the modeled sea ice-albedo feedback. It is emphasized that accurately modeling present-day sea ice thickness is not adequate for a sea ice parameterization; the correct physical processes must be included so that the sea ice parameterization yields correct sensitivities to external forcing. 22 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  7. Sea Ice Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrigo, Kevin R.

    2014-01-01

    Polar sea ice is one of the largest ecosystems on Earth. The liquid brine fraction of the ice matrix is home to a diverse array of organisms, ranging from tiny archaea to larger fish and invertebrates. These organisms can tolerate high brine salinity and low temperature but do best when conditions are milder. Thriving ice algal communities, generally dominated by diatoms, live at the ice/water interface and in recently flooded surface and interior layers, especially during spring, when temperatures begin to rise. Although protists dominate the sea ice biomass, heterotrophic bacteria are also abundant. The sea ice ecosystem provides food for a host of animals, with crustaceans being the most conspicuous. Uneaten organic matter from the ice sinks through the water column and feeds benthic ecosystems. As sea ice extent declines, ice algae likely contribute a shrinking fraction of the total amount of organic matter produced in polar waters.

  8. Consequences of future increased Arctic runoff on Arctic Ocean stratification, circulation, and sea ice cover

    OpenAIRE

    Nummelin, Aleksi; Ilicak, Mehmet; Li, Camille; Smedsrud, Lars Henrik

    2016-01-01

    The Arctic Ocean has important freshwater sources including river runoff, low evaporation, and exchange with the Pacific Ocean. In the future, we expect even larger freshwater input as the global hydrological cycle accelerates, increasing high-latitude precipitation, and river runoff. Previous modeling studies show some robust responses to high-latitude freshwater perturbations, including a strengthening of Arctic stratification and a weakening of the large-scale ocean circulation...

  9. Sea ice dynamics across the Mid-Pleistocene transition in the Bering Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Detlef, H; Belt, S T; Sosdian, S M; Smik, L; Lear, C H; Hall, I R; Cabedo-Sanz, P; Husum, K; Kender, S

    2018-03-05

    Sea ice and associated feedback mechanisms play an important role for both long- and short-term climate change. Our ability to predict future sea ice extent, however, hinges on a greater understanding of past sea ice dynamics. Here we investigate sea ice changes in the eastern Bering Sea prior to, across, and after the Mid-Pleistocene transition (MPT). The sea ice record, based on the Arctic sea ice biomarker IP 25 and related open water proxies from the International Ocean Discovery Program Site U1343, shows a substantial increase in sea ice extent across the MPT. The occurrence of late-glacial/deglacial sea ice maxima are consistent with sea ice/land ice hysteresis and land-glacier retreat via the temperature-precipitation feedback. We also identify interactions of sea ice with phytoplankton growth and ocean circulation patterns, which have important implications for glacial North Pacific Intermediate Water formation and potentially North Pacific abyssal carbon storage.

  10. Relationships between declining summer sea ice, increasing temperatures and changing vegetation in the Siberian Arctic tundra from MODIS time series (2000–11)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dutrieux, L P; Bartholomeus, H; Herold, M; Verbesselt, J

    2012-01-01

    The concern about Arctic greening has grown recently as the phenomenon is thought to have significant influence on global climate via atmospheric carbon emissions. Earlier work on Arctic vegetation highlighted the role of summer sea ice decline in the enhanced warming and greening phenomena observed in the region, but did not contain enough details for spatially characterizing the interactions between sea ice, temperature and vegetation photosynthetic absorption. By using 1 km resolution data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) as a primary data source, this study presents detailed maps of vegetation and temperature trends for the Siberian Arctic region, using the time integrated normalized difference vegetation index (TI-NDVI) and summer warmth index (SWI) calculated for the period 2000–11 to represent vegetation greenness and temperature respectively. Spatio-temporal relationships between the two indices and summer sea ice conditions were investigated with transects at eight locations using sea ice concentration data from the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I). In addition, the derived vegetation and temperature trends were compared among major Arctic vegetation types and bioclimate subzones. The fine resolution trend map produced confirms the overall greening (+1% yr −1 ) and warming (+0.27% yr −1 ) of the region, reported in previous studies, but also reveals browning areas. The causes of such local decreases in vegetation, while surrounding areas are experiencing the opposite reaction to changing conditions, are still unclear. Overall correlations between sea ice concentration and SWI as well as TI-NDVI decreased in strength with increasing distance from the coast, with a particularly pronounced pattern in the case of SWI. SWI appears to be driving TI-NDVI in many cases, but not systematically, highlighting the presence of limiting factors other than temperature for plant growth in the region. Further unravelling those limiting

  11. How reversible is sea ice loss?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. K. Ridley

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available It is well accepted that increasing atmospheric CO2 results in global warming, leading to a decline in polar sea ice area. Here, the specific question of whether there is a tipping point in the sea ice cover is investigated. The global climate model HadCM3 is used to map the trajectory of sea ice area under idealised scenarios. The atmospheric CO2 is first ramped up to four times pre-industrial levels (4 × CO2, then ramped down to pre-industrial levels. We also examine the impact of stabilising climate at 4 × CO2 prior to ramping CO2 down to pre-industrial levels. Against global mean temperature, Arctic sea ice area is reversible, while the Antarctic sea ice shows some asymmetric behaviour – its rate of change slower, with falling temperatures, than its rate of change with rising temperatures. However, we show that the asymmetric behaviour is driven by hemispherical differences in temperature change between transient and stabilisation periods. We find no irreversible behaviour in the sea ice cover.

  12. Changes in the seasonality of Arctic sea ice and temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bintanja, R.

    2012-04-01

    Observations show that the Arctic sea ice cover is currently declining as a result of climate warming. According to climate models, this retreat will continue and possibly accelerate in the near-future. However, the magnitude of this decline is not the same throughout the year. With temperatures near or above the freezing point, summertime Arctic sea ice will quickly diminish. However, at temperatures well below freezing, the sea ice cover during winter will exhibit a much weaker decline. In the future, the sea ice seasonal cycle will be no ice in summer, and thin one-year ice in winter. Hence, the seasonal cycle in sea ice cover will increase with ongoing climate warming. This in itself leads to an increased summer-winter contrast in surface air temperature, because changes in sea ice have a dominant influence on Arctic temperature and its seasonality. Currently, the annual amplitude in air temperature is decreasing, however, because winters warm faster than summer. With ongoing summer sea ice reductions there will come a time when the annual temperature amplitude will increase again because of the large seasonal changes in sea ice. This suggests that changes in the seasonal cycle in Arctic sea ice and temperature are closely, and intricately, connected. Future changes in Arctic seasonality (will) have an profound effect on flora, fauna, humans and economic activities.

  13. Estimates of ikaite export from sea ice to the underlying seawater in a sea ice-seawater mesocosm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geilfus, Nicolas-Xavier; Galley, Ryan J.; Else, Brent G. T.; Campbell, Karley; Papakyriakou, Tim; Crabeck, Odile; Lemes, Marcos; Delille, Bruno; Rysgaard, Søren

    2016-09-01

    The precipitation of ikaite and its fate within sea ice is still poorly understood. We quantify temporal inorganic carbon dynamics in sea ice from initial formation to its melt in a sea ice-seawater mesocosm pool from 11 to 29 January 2013. Based on measurements of total alkalinity (TA) and total dissolved inorganic carbon (TCO2), the main processes affecting inorganic carbon dynamics within sea ice were ikaite precipitation and CO2 exchange with the atmosphere. In the underlying seawater, the dissolution of ikaite was the main process affecting inorganic carbon dynamics. Sea ice acted as an active layer, releasing CO2 to the atmosphere during the growth phase, taking up CO2 as it melted and exporting both ikaite and TCO2 into the underlying seawater during the whole experiment. Ikaite precipitation of up to 167 µmol kg-1 within sea ice was estimated, while its export and dissolution into the underlying seawater was responsible for a TA increase of 64-66 µmol kg-1 in the water column. The export of TCO2 from sea ice to the water column increased the underlying seawater TCO2 by 43.5 µmol kg-1, suggesting that almost all of the TCO2 that left the sea ice was exported to the underlying seawater. The export of ikaite from the ice to the underlying seawater was associated with brine rejection during sea ice growth, increased vertical connectivity in sea ice due to the upward percolation of seawater and meltwater flushing during sea ice melt. Based on the change in TA in the water column around the onset of sea ice melt, more than half of the total ikaite precipitated in the ice during sea ice growth was still contained in the ice when the sea ice began to melt. Ikaite crystal dissolution in the water column kept the seawater pCO2 undersaturated with respect to the atmosphere in spite of increased salinity, TA and TCO2 associated with sea ice growth. Results indicate that ikaite export from sea ice and its dissolution in the underlying seawater can potentially hamper

  14. Influence of sea ice on Arctic coasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnhart, K. R.; Kay, J. E.; Overeem, I.; Anderson, R. S.

    2017-12-01

    Coasts form the dynamic interface between the terrestrial and oceanic systems. In the Arctic, and in much of the world, the coast is a focal point for population, infrastructure, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. A key difference between Arctic and temperate coasts is the presence of sea ice. Changes in sea ice cover can influence the coast because (1) the length of the sea ice-free season controls the time over which nearshore water can interact with the land, and (2) the location of the sea ice edge controls the fetch over which storm winds can interact with open ocean water, which in turn governs nearshore water level and wave field. We first focus on the interaction of sea ice and ice-rich coasts. We combine satellite records of sea ice with a model for wind-driven storm surge and waves to estimate how changes in the sea ice-free season have impacted the nearshore hydrodynamic environment along Alaska's Beaufort Sea Coast for the period 1979-2012. This region has experienced some of the greatest changes in both sea ice cover and coastal erosion rates in the Arctic: the median length of the open-water season has expanded by 90 percent, while coastal erosion rates have more than doubled from 8.7 to 19 m yr-1. At Drew Point, NW winds increase shoreline water levels that control the incision of a submarine notch, the rate-limiting step of coastal retreat. The maximum water-level setup at Drew Point has increased consistently with increasing fetch. We extend our analysis to the entire Arctic using both satellite-based observations and global coupled climate model output from the Community Earth System Model Large Ensemble (CESM-LE) project. This 30-member ensemble employs a 1-degree version of the CESM-CAM5 historical forcing for the period 1920-2005, and RCP 8.5 forcing from 2005-2100. A control model run with constant pre-industrial (1850) forcing characterizes internal variability in a constant climate. Finally, we compare observations and model results to

  15. Calibration of sea ice dynamic parameters in an ocean-sea ice model using an ensemble Kalman filter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massonnet, F.; Goosse, H.; Fichefet, T.; Counillon, F.

    2014-07-01

    The choice of parameter values is crucial in the course of sea ice model development, since parameters largely affect the modeled mean sea ice state. Manual tuning of parameters will soon become impractical, as sea ice models will likely include more parameters to calibrate, leading to an exponential increase of the number of possible combinations to test. Objective and automatic methods for parameter calibration are thus progressively called on to replace the traditional heuristic, "trial-and-error" recipes. Here a method for calibration of parameters based on the ensemble Kalman filter is implemented, tested and validated in the ocean-sea ice model NEMO-LIM3. Three dynamic parameters are calibrated: the ice strength parameter P*, the ocean-sea ice drag parameter Cw, and the atmosphere-sea ice drag parameter Ca. In twin, perfect-model experiments, the default parameter values are retrieved within 1 year of simulation. Using 2007-2012 real sea ice drift data, the calibration of the ice strength parameter P* and the oceanic drag parameter Cw improves clearly the Arctic sea ice drift properties. It is found that the estimation of the atmospheric drag Ca is not necessary if P* and Cw are already estimated. The large reduction in the sea ice speed bias with calibrated parameters comes with a slight overestimation of the winter sea ice areal export through Fram Strait and a slight improvement in the sea ice thickness distribution. Overall, the estimation of parameters with the ensemble Kalman filter represents an encouraging alternative to manual tuning for ocean-sea ice models.

  16. Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Changes and Impacts (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nghiem, S. V.

    2013-12-01

    The extent of springtime Arctic perennial sea ice, important to preconditioning summer melt and to polar sunrise photochemistry, continues its precipitous reduction in the last decade marked by a record low in 2012, as the Bromine, Ozone, and Mercury Experiment (BROMEX) was conducted around Barrow, Alaska, to investigate impacts of sea ice reduction on photochemical processes, transport, and distribution in the polar environment. In spring 2013, there was further loss of perennial sea ice, as it was not observed in the ocean region adjacent to the Alaskan north coast, where there was a stretch of perennial sea ice in 2012 in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea. In contrast to the rapid and extensive loss of sea ice in the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice has a trend of a slight increase in the past three decades. Given the significant variability in time and in space together with uncertainties in satellite observations, the increasing trend of Antarctic sea ice may arguably be considered as having a low confidence level; however, there was no overall reduction of Antarctic sea ice extent anywhere close to the decreasing rate of Arctic sea ice. There exist publications presenting various factors driving changes in Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. After a short review of these published factors, new observations and atmospheric, oceanic, hydrological, and geological mechanisms contributed to different behaviors of sea ice changes in the Arctic and Antarctic are presented. The contribution from of hydrologic factors may provide a linkage to and enhance thermal impacts from lower latitudes. While geological factors may affect the sensitivity of sea ice response to climate change, these factors can serve as the long-term memory in the system that should be exploited to improve future projections or predictions of sea ice changes. Furthermore, similarities and differences in chemical impacts of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice changes are discussed. Understanding sea ice changes and

  17. Structural Uncertainty in Antarctic sea ice simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, D. P.

    2016-12-01

    The inability of the vast majority of historical climate model simulations to reproduce the observed increase in Antarctic sea ice has motivated many studies about the quality of the observational record, the role of natural variability versus forced changes, and the possibility of missing or inadequate forcings in the models (such as freshwater discharge from thinning ice shelves or an inadequate magnitude of stratospheric ozone depletion). In this presentation I will highlight another source of uncertainty that has received comparatively little attention: Structural uncertainty, that is, the systematic uncertainty in simulated sea ice trends that arises from model physics and mean-state biases. Using two large ensembles of experiments from the Community Earth System Model (CESM), I will show that the model is predisposed towards producing negative Antarctic sea ice trends during 1979-present, and that this outcome is not simply because the model's decadal variability is out-of-synch with that in nature. In the "Tropical Pacific Pacemaker" ensemble, in which observed tropical Pacific SST anomalies are prescribed, the model produces very realistic atmospheric circulation trends over the Southern Ocean, yet the sea ice trend is negative in every ensemble member. However, if the ensemble-mean trend (commonly interpreted as the forced response) is removed, some ensemble members show a sea ice increase that is very similar to the observed. While this results does confirm the important role of natural variability, it also suggests a strong bias in the forced response. I will discuss the reasons for this systematic bias and explore possible remedies. This an important problem to solve because projections of 21st -Century changes in the Antarctic climate system (including ice sheet surface mass balance changes and related changes in the sea level budget) have a strong dependence on the mean state of and changes in the Antarctic sea ice cover. This problem is not unique to

  18. Sea Ice, Climate and Fram Strait

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunkins, K.

    1984-01-01

    When sea ice is formed the albedo of the ocean surface increases from its open water value of about 0.1 to a value as high as 0.8. This albedo change effects the radiation balance and thus has the potential to alter climate. Sea ice also partially seals off the ocean from the atmosphere, reducing the exchange of gases such as carbon dioxide. This is another possible mechanism by which climate might be affected. The Marginal Ice Zone Experiment (MIZEX 83 to 84) is an international, multidisciplinary study of processes controlling the edge of the ice pack in that area including the interactions between sea, air and ice.

  19. Antioxidant responses in the polar marine sea-ice amphipod Gammarus wilkitzkii to natural and experimentally increased UV levels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krapp, Rupert H.; Bassinet, Thievery; Berge, Jorgen; Pampanin, Daniela M.; Camus, Lionel

    2009-01-01

    Polar marine surface waters are characterized by high levels of dissolved oxygen, seasonally intense UV irradiance and high levels of dissolved organic carbon. Therefore, the Arctic sea-ice habitat is regarded as a strongly pro-oxidant environment, even though its significant ice cover protects the ice-associated (=sympagic) fauna from direct irradiation to a large extent. In order to investigate the level of resistance to oxyradical stress, we sampled the sympagic amphipod species Gammarus wilkitzkii during both winter and summer conditions, as well as exposed specimens to simulated levels of near-natural and elevated levels of UV irradiation. Results showed that this amphipod species possessed a much stronger antioxidant capacity during summer than during winter. Also, the experimental UV exposure showed a depletion in antioxidant defences, indicating a negative effect of UV exposure on the total oxyradical scavenging capacity. Another sympagic organism, Onisimus nanseni, was sampled during summer conditions. When compared to G. wilkitzkii, the species showed even higher antioxidant scavenging capacity.

  20. Reducing uncertainty in high-resolution sea ice models.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peterson, Kara J.; Bochev, Pavel Blagoveston

    2013-07-01

    Arctic sea ice is an important component of the global climate system, reflecting a significant amount of solar radiation, insulating the ocean from the atmosphere and influencing ocean circulation by modifying the salinity of the upper ocean. The thickness and extent of Arctic sea ice have shown a significant decline in recent decades with implications for global climate as well as regional geopolitics. Increasing interest in exploration as well as climate feedback effects make predictive mathematical modeling of sea ice a task of tremendous practical import. Satellite data obtained over the last few decades have provided a wealth of information on sea ice motion and deformation. The data clearly show that ice deformation is focused along narrow linear features and this type of deformation is not well-represented in existing models. To improve sea ice dynamics we have incorporated an anisotropic rheology into the Los Alamos National Laboratory global sea ice model, CICE. Sensitivity analyses were performed using the Design Analysis Kit for Optimization and Terascale Applications (DAKOTA) to determine the impact of material parameters on sea ice response functions. Two material strength parameters that exhibited the most significant impact on responses were further analyzed to evaluate their influence on quantitative comparisons between model output and data. The sensitivity analysis along with ten year model runs indicate that while the anisotropic rheology provides some benefit in velocity predictions, additional improvements are required to make this material model a viable alternative for global sea ice simulations.

  1. The effect of changing sea ice on the vulnerability of Arctic coasts

    OpenAIRE

    K. R. Barnhart; I. Overeem; R. S. Anderson

    2014-01-01

    Shorefast sea ice prevents the interaction of the land and the ocean in the Arctic winter and influences this interaction in the summer by governing the fetch. In many parts of the Arctic the sea-ice-free season is increasing in duration, and the summertime sea ice extents are decreasing. Sea ice provides a first order control on the vulnerability of Arctic coasts to erosion, inundation, and damage to settlements and infrastructure. We ask how the changing sea ic...

  2. Improving Arctic Sea Ice Observations and Data Access to Support Advances in Sea Ice Forecasting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, S. L.

    2017-12-01

    The economic and strategic importance of the Arctic region is becoming apparent. One of the most striking and widely publicized changes underway is the declining sea ice cover. Since sea ice is a key component of the climate system, its ongoing loss has serious, and wide-ranging, socio-economic implications. Increasing year-to-year variability in the geographic location, concentration, and thickness of the Arctic ice cover will pose both challenges and opportunities. The sea ice research community must be engaged in sustained Arctic Observing Network (AON) initiatives so as to deliver fit-for-purpose remote sensing data products to a variety of stakeholders including Arctic communities, the weather forecasting and climate modeling communities, industry, local, regional and national governments, and policy makers. An example of engagement is the work currently underway to improve research collaborations between scientists engaged in obtaining and assessing sea ice observational data and those conducting numerical modeling studies and forecasting ice conditions. As part of the US AON, in collaboration with the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC), we are developing a strategic framework within which observers and modelers can work towards the common goal of improved sea ice forecasting. Here, we focus on sea ice thickness, a key varaible of the Arctic ice cover. We describe multi-sensor, and blended, sea ice thickness data products under development that can be leveraged to improve model initialization and validation, as well as support data assimilation exercises. We will also present the new PolarWatch initiative (polarwatch.noaa.gov) and discuss efforts to advance access to remote sensing satellite observations and improve communication with Arctic stakeholders, so as to deliver data products that best address societal needs.

  3. The effects of additional black carbon on the albedo of Arctic sea ice: variation with sea ice type and snow cover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Marks

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The response of the albedo of bare sea ice and snow-covered sea ice to the addition of black carbon is calculated. Visible light absorption and light-scattering cross-sections are derived for a typical first-year and multi-year sea ice with both "dry" and "wet" snow types. The cross-sections are derived using data from a 1970s field study that recorded both reflectivity and light penetration in Arctic sea ice and snow overlying sea ice. The variation of absorption cross-section over the visible wavelengths suggests black carbon is the dominating light-absorbing impurity. The response of first-year and multi-year sea ice albedo to increasing black carbon, from 1 to 1024 ng g−1, in a top 5 cm layer of a 155 cm-thick sea ice was calculated using a radiative-transfer model. The albedo of the first-year sea ice is more sensitive to additional loadings of black carbon than the multi-year sea ice. An addition of 8 ng g−1 of black carbon causes a decrease to 98.7% of the original albedo for first-year sea ice compared to a decrease to 99.7% for the albedo of multi-year sea ice, at a wavelength of 500 nm. The albedo of sea ice is surprisingly unresponsive to additional black carbon up to 100 ng g−1 . Snow layers on sea ice may mitigate the effects of black carbon in sea ice. Wet and dry snow layers of 0.5, 1, 2, 5 and 10 cm depth were added onto the sea ice surface. The albedo of the snow surface was calculated whilst the black carbon in the underlying sea ice was increased. A layer of snow 0.5 cm thick greatly diminishes the effect of black carbon in sea ice on the surface albedo. The albedo of a 2–5 cm snow layer (less than the e-folding depth of snow is still influenced by the underlying sea ice, but the effect of additional black carbon in the sea ice is masked.

  4. Global warming: Sea ice and snow cover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walsh, J.E.

    1993-01-01

    In spite of differences among global climate simulations under scenarios where atmospheric CO 2 is doubled, all models indicate at least some amplification of greenouse warming at the polar regions. Several decades of recent data on air temperature, sea ice, and snow cover of the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere are summarized to illustrate the general compatibility of recent variations in those parameters. Despite a data void over the Arctic Ocean, some noteworthy patterns emerge. Warming dominates in winter and spring, as projected by global climate models, with the warming strongest over subpolar land areas of Alaska, northwestern Canada, and northern Eurasia. A time-longitude summary of Arctic sea ice variations indicates that timescales of most anomalies range from several months to several years. Wintertime maxima of total sea ice extent contain no apparent secular trends. The statistical significance of trends in recent sea ice variations was evaluated by a Monte Carlo procedure, showing a statistically significant negative trend in the summer. Snow cover data over the 20-y period of record show a noticeable decrease of Arctic snow cover in the late 1980s. This is of potential climatic significance since the accompanying decrease of surface albedo leads to a rapid increase of solar heating. 21 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab

  5. Expanding Antarctic Sea Ice: Anthropogenic or Natural Variability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bitz, C. M.

    2016-12-01

    Antarctic sea ice extent has increased over the last 36 years according to the satellite record. Concurrent with Antarctic sea-ice expansion has been broad cooling of the Southern Ocean sea-surface temperature. Not only are Southern Ocean sea ice and SST trends at odds with expectations from greenhouse gas-induced warming, the trend patterns are not reproduced in historical simulations with comprehensive global climate models. While a variety of different factors may have contributed to the observed trends in recent decades, we propose that it is atmospheric circulation changes - and the changes in ocean circulation they induce - that have emerged as the most likely cause of the observed Southern Ocean sea ice and SST trends. I will discuss deficiencies in models that could explain their incorrect response. In addition, I will present results from a series of experiments where the Antarctic sea ice and ocean are forced by atmospheric perturbations imposed within a coupled climate model. Figure caption: Linear trends of annual-mean SST (left) and annual-mean sea-ice concentration (right) over 1980-2014. SST is from NOAA's Optimum Interpolation SST dataset (version 2; Reynolds et al. 2002). Sea-ice concentration is from passive microwave observations using the NASA Team algorithm. Only the annual means are shown here for brevity and because the signal to noise is greater than in the seasonal means. Figure from Armour and Bitz (2015).

  6. Winter sea ice export from the Laptev Sea preconditions the local summer sea ice cover and fast ice decay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Itkin

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ice retreat in the eastern Eurasian Arctic is a consequence of atmospheric and oceanic processes and regional feedback mechanisms acting on the ice cover, both in winter and summer. A correct representation of these processes in numerical models is important, since it will improve predictions of sea ice anomalies along the Northeast Passage and beyond. In this study, we highlight the importance of winter ice dynamics for local summer sea ice anomalies in thickness, volume and extent. By means of airborne sea ice thickness surveys made over pack ice areas in the south-eastern Laptev Sea, we show that years of offshore-directed sea ice transport have a thinning effect on the late-winter sea ice cover. To confirm the preconditioning effect of enhanced offshore advection in late winter on the summer sea ice cover, we perform a sensitivity study using a numerical model. Results verify that the preconditioning effect plays a bigger role for the regional ice extent. Furthermore, they indicate an increase in volume export from the Laptev Sea as a consequence of enhanced offshore advection, which has far-reaching consequences for the entire Arctic sea ice mass balance. Moreover we show that ice dynamics in winter not only preconditions local summer ice extent, but also accelerate fast-ice decay.

  7. Methane excess in Arctic surface water-triggered by sea ice formation and melting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damm, E; Rudels, B; Schauer, U; Mau, S; Dieckmann, G

    2015-11-10

    Arctic amplification of global warming has led to increased summer sea ice retreat, which influences gas exchange between the Arctic Ocean and the atmosphere where sea ice previously acted as a physical barrier. Indeed, recently observed enhanced atmospheric methane concentrations in Arctic regions with fractional sea-ice cover point to unexpected feedbacks in cycling of methane. We report on methane excess in sea ice-influenced water masses in the interior Arctic Ocean and provide evidence that sea ice is a potential source. We show that methane release from sea ice into the ocean occurs via brine drainage during freezing and melting i.e. in winter and spring. In summer under a fractional sea ice cover, reduced turbulence restricts gas transfer, then seawater acts as buffer in which methane remains entrained. However, in autumn and winter surface convection initiates pronounced efflux of methane from the ice covered ocean to the atmosphere. Our results demonstrate that sea ice-sourced methane cycles seasonally between sea ice, sea-ice-influenced seawater and the atmosphere, while the deeper ocean remains decoupled. Freshening due to summer sea ice retreat will enhance this decoupling, which restricts the capacity of the deeper Arctic Ocean to act as a sink for this greenhouse gas.

  8. Can regional climate engineering save the summer Arctic sea ice?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilmes, S.; Jahn, Alexandra; Kay, Jennifer E.; Holland, Marika; Lamarque, Jean-Francois

    2014-02-01

    Rapid declines in summer Arctic sea ice extent are projected under high-forcing future climate scenarios. Regional Arctic climate engineering has been suggested as an emergency strategy to save the sea ice. Model simulations of idealized regional dimming experiments compared to a business-as-usual greenhouse gas emission simulation demonstrate the importance of both local and remote feedback mechanisms to the surface energy budget in high latitudes. With increasing artificial reduction in incoming shortwave radiation, the positive surface albedo feedback from Arctic sea ice loss is reduced. However, changes in Arctic clouds and the strongly increasing northward heat transport both counteract the direct dimming effects. A 4 times stronger local reduction in solar radiation compared to a global experiment is required to preserve summer Arctic sea ice area. Even with regional Arctic dimming, a reduction in the strength of the oceanic meridional overturning circulation and a shut down of Labrador Sea deep convection are possible.

  9. Impacts of Changed Extratropical Storm Tracks on Arctic Sea Ice Export through Fram Strait

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, J.; Zhang, X.; Wang, Z.

    2017-12-01

    Studies have indicated a poleward shift of extratropical storm tracks and intensification of Arctic storm activities, in particular on the North Atlantic side of the Arctic Ocean. To improve understanding of dynamic effect on changes in Arctic sea ice mass balance, we examined the impacts of the changed storm tracks and activities on Arctic sea ice export through Fram Strait through ocean-sea ice model simulations. The model employed is the high-resolution Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model (MITgcm), which was forced by the Japanese 25-year Reanalysis (JRA-25) dataset. The results show that storm-induced strong northerly wind stress can cause simultaneous response of daily sea ice export and, in turn, exert cumulative effects on interannual variability and long-term changes of sea ice export. Further analysis indicates that storm impact on sea ice export is spatially dependent. The storms occurring southeast of Fram Strait exhibit the largest impacts. The weakened intensity of winter storms in this region after 1994/95 could be responsible for the decrease of total winter sea ice export during the same time period.

  10. The Role of Sea Ice in 2 x CO2 Climate Model Sensitivity. Part 2; Hemispheric Dependencies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rind, D.; Healy, R.; Parkinson, C.; Martinson, D.

    1997-01-01

    How sensitive are doubled CO2 simulations to GCM control-run sea ice thickness and extent? This issue is examined in a series of 10 control-run simulations with different sea ice and corresponding doubled CO2 simulations. Results show that with increased control-run sea ice coverage in the Southern Hemisphere, temperature sensitivity with climate change is enhanced, while there is little effect on temperature sensitivity of (reasonable) variations in control-run sea ice thickness. In the Northern Hemisphere the situation is reversed: sea ice thickness is the key parameter, while (reasonable) variations in control-run sea ice coverage are of less importance. In both cases, the quantity of sea ice that can be removed in the warmer climate is the determining factor. Overall, the Southern Hemisphere sea ice coverage change had a larger impact on global temperature, because Northern Hemisphere sea ice was sufficiently thick to limit its response to doubled CO2, and sea ice changes generally occurred at higher latitudes, reducing the sea ice-albedo feedback. In both these experiments and earlier ones in which sea ice was not allowed to change, the model displayed a sensitivity of -0.02 C global warming per percent change in Southern Hemisphere sea ice coverage.

  11. Study suggests Arctic sea ice loss not irreversible

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balcerak, Ernie

    2011-10-01

    The Arctic has been losing sea ice as Earth's climate warms, and some studies have suggested that the Arctic could reach a tipping point, beyond which ice would not recover even if global temperatures cooled down again. However, a new study by Armour et al. that uses a state-of-the-art atmosphere-ocean global climate model found no evidence of such irreversibility. In their simulations, the researchers increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels until Arctic sea ice disappeared year-round and then watched what happened as global temperatures were then decreased. They found that sea ice steadily recovered as global temperatures dropped. An implication of this result is that future sea ice loss will occur only as long as global temperatures continue to rise. (Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2011GL048739, 2011)

  12. Sea-ice induced growth decline in Arctic shrubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forchhammer, Mads

    2017-08-01

    Measures of increased tundra plant productivity have been associated with the accelerating retreat of the Arctic sea-ice. Emerging studies document opposite effects, advocating for a more complex relationship between the shrinking sea-ice and terrestrial plant productivity. I introduce an autoregressive plant growth model integrating effects of biological and climatic conditions for analysing individual ring-width growth time series. Using 128 specimens of Salix arctica , S. glauca and Betula nana sampled across Greenland to Svalbard, an overall negative effect of the retreating June sea-ice extent was found on the annual growth. The negative effect of the retreating June sea-ice was observed for younger individuals with large annual growth allocations and with little or no trade-off between previous and current year's growth. © 2017 The Author(s).

  13. Temporal dynamics of ikaite in experimental sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rysgaard, S.; Wang, F.; Galley, R. J.; Grimm, R.; Notz, D.; Lemes, M.; Geilfus, N.-X.; Chaulk, A.; Hare, A. A.; Crabeck, O.; Else, B. G. T.; Campbell, K.; Sørensen, L. L.; Sievers, J.; Papakyriakou, T.

    2014-08-01

    Ikaite (CaCO3 · 6H2O) is a metastable phase of calcium carbonate that normally forms in a cold environment and/or under high pressure. Recently, ikaite crystals have been found in sea ice, and it has been suggested that their precipitation may play an important role in air-sea CO2 exchange in ice-covered seas. Little is known, however, of the spatial and temporal dynamics of ikaite in sea ice. Here we present evidence for highly dynamic ikaite precipitation and dissolution in sea ice grown at an outdoor pool of the Sea-ice Environmental Research Facility (SERF) in Manitoba, Canada. During the experiment, ikaite precipitated in sea ice when temperatures were below -4 °C, creating three distinct zones of ikaite concentrations: (1) a millimeter-to-centimeter-thin surface layer containing frost flowers and brine skim with bulk ikaite concentrations of >2000 μmol kg-1, (2) an internal layer with ikaite concentrations of 200-400 μmol kg-1, and (3) a bottom layer with ikaite concentrations of ikaite crystals to dissolve. Manual removal of the snow cover allowed the sea ice to cool and brine salinities to increase, resulting in rapid ikaite precipitation. The observed ikaite concentrations were on the same order of magnitude as modeled by FREZCHEM, which further supports the notion that ikaite concentration in sea ice increases with decreasing temperature. Thus, varying snow conditions may play a key role in ikaite precipitation and dissolution in sea ice. This could have a major implication for CO2 exchange with the atmosphere and ocean that has not been accounted for previously.

  14. A multivariate analysis of Antarctic sea ice since 1979

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Magalhaes Neto, Newton de; Evangelista, Heitor [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Uerj), LARAMG - Laboratorio de Radioecologia e Mudancas Globais, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Tanizaki-Fonseca, Kenny [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Uerj), LARAMG - Laboratorio de Radioecologia e Mudancas Globais, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Dept. Analise Geoambiental, Inst. de Geociencias, Niteroi, RJ (Brazil); Penello Meirelles, Margareth Simoes [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ)/Geomatica, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Garcia, Carlos Eiras [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG), Laboratorio de Oceanografia Fisica, Rio Grande, RS (Brazil)

    2012-03-15

    Recent satellite observations have shown an increase in the total extent of Antarctic sea ice, during periods when the atmosphere and oceans tend to be warmer surrounding a significant part of the continent. Despite an increase in total sea ice, regional analyses depict negative trends in the Bellingshausen-Amundsen Sea and positive trends in the Ross Sea. Although several climate parameters are believed to drive the formation of Antarctic sea ice and the local atmosphere, a descriptive mechanism that could trigger such differences in trends are still unknown. In this study we employed a multivariate analysis in order to identify the response of the Antarctic sea ice with respect to commonly utilized climate forcings/parameters, as follows: (1) The global air surface temperature, (2) The global sea surface temperature, (3) The atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration, (4) The South Annular Mode, (5) The Nino 3, (6) The Nino (3 + 4, 7) The Nino 4, (8) The Southern Oscillation Index, (9) The Multivariate ENSO Index, (10) the Total Solar Irradiance, (11) The maximum O{sub 3} depletion area, and (12) The minimum O{sub 3} concentration over Antarctica. Our results indicate that western Antarctic sea ice is simultaneously impacted by several parameters; and that the minimum, mean, and maximum sea ice extent may respond to a separate set of climatic/geochemical parameters. (orig.)

  15. Smoluchowski coagulation models of sea ice thickness distribution dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godlovitch, D.; Illner, R.; Monahan, A.

    2011-12-01

    Sea ice thickness distributions display a ubiquitous exponential decrease with thickness. This tail characterizes the range of ice thickness produced by mechanical redistribution of ice through the process of ridging, rafting, and shearing. We investigate how well the thickness distribution can be simulated by representing mechanical redistribution as a generalized stacking process. Such processes are naturally described by a well-studied class of models known as Smoluchowski Coagulation Models (SCMs), which describe the dynamics of a population of fixed-mass "particles" which combine in pairs to form a "particle" with the combined mass of the constituent pair at a rate which depends on the mass of the interacting particles. Like observed sea ice thickness distributions, the mass distribution of the populations generated by SCMs has an exponential or quasi-exponential form. We use SCMs to model sea ice, identifying mass-increasing particle combinations with thickness-increasing ice redistribution processes. Our model couples an SCM component with a thermodynamic component and generates qualitatively accurate thickness distributions with a variety of rate kernels. Our results suggest that the exponential tail of the sea ice thickness distribution arises from the nature of the ridging process, rather than specific physical properties of sea ice or the spatial arrangement of floes, and that the relative strengths of the dynamic and thermodynamic processes are key in accurately simulating the rate at which the sea ice thickness tail drops off with thickness.

  16. Visualizing Glaciers and Sea Ice via Google Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballagh, L. M.; Fetterer, F.; Haran, T. M.; Pharris, K.

    2006-12-01

    The NOAA team at NSIDC manages over 60 distinct cryospheric and related data products. With an emphasis on data rescue and in situ data, these products hold value for both the scientific and non-scientific user communities. The overarching goal of this presentation is to promote products from two components of the cryosphere (glaciers and sea ice). Our Online Glacier Photograph Database contains approximately 3,000 photographs taken over many decades, exemplifying change in the glacier terminus over time. The sea ice product shows sea ice extent and concentration along with anomalies and trends. This Sea Ice Index product, which starts in 1979 and is updated monthly, provides visuals of the current state of sea ice in both hemispheres with trends and anomalies. The long time period covered by the data set means that many of the trends in ice extent and concentration shown in this product are statistically significant despite the large natural variability in sea ice. The minimum arctic sea ice extent has been a record low in September 2002 and 2005, contributing to an accelerated trend in sea ice reduction. With increasing world-wide interest in indicators of global climate change, and the upcoming International Polar Year, these data products are of interest to a broad audience. To further extend the impact of these data, we have made them viewable through Google Earth via the Keyhole Markup Language (KML). This presents an opportunity to branch out to a more diverse audience by using a new and innovative tool that allows spatial representation of data of significant scientific and educational interest.

  17. Evidence for link between modelled trends in Antarctic sea ice and underestimated westerly wind changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purich, Ariaan; Cai, Wenju; England, Matthew H; Cowan, Tim

    2016-02-04

    Despite global warming, total Antarctic sea ice coverage increased over 1979-2013. However, the majority of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 models simulate a decline. Mechanisms causing this discrepancy have so far remained elusive. Here we show that weaker trends in the intensification of the Southern Hemisphere westerly wind jet simulated by the models may contribute to this disparity. During austral summer, a strengthened jet leads to increased upwelling of cooler subsurface water and strengthened equatorward transport, conducive to increased sea ice. As the majority of models underestimate summer jet trends, this cooling process is underestimated compared with observations and is insufficient to offset warming in the models. Through the sea ice-albedo feedback, models produce a high-latitude surface ocean warming and sea ice decline, contrasting the observed net cooling and sea ice increase. A realistic simulation of observed wind changes may be crucial for reproducing the recent observed sea ice increase.

  18. Evaluation of the sea ice proxy IP against observational and diatom proxy data in the SW Labrador Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weckström, K.; Andersen, M.L.; Kuijpers, A.

    2013-01-01

    The recent rapid decline in Arctic sea ice cover has increased the need to improve the accuracy of the sea ice component in climate models and to provide detailed long-term sea ice concentration records, which are only available via proxy data. Recently, the highly branched isoprenoid IP25...

  19. Arctic Sea Ice Freeboard and Thickness

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set provides measurements of sea ice freeboard and sea ice thickness for the Arctic region. The data were derived from measurements made by from the Ice,...

  20. Autonomous Sea-Ice Thickness Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-01

    the conductivity of an infinitely thick slab of sea ice. Ice thickness, Hice, is then obtained by subtracting the height of the ...Thickness Survey of Sea Ice Runway” ERDC/CRREL SR-16-4 ii Abstract We conducted an autonomous survey of sea -ice thickness using the Polar rover Yeti...efficiency relative to manual surveys routinely con- ducted to assess the safety of roads and runways constructed on the sea ice. Yeti executed the

  1. Airborne Spectral Measurements of Surface-Atmosphere Anisotropy for Arctic Sea Ice and Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, G. Thomas; Tsay, Si-Chee; King, Michael D.; Li, Jason Y.; Soulen, Peter F.

    1999-01-01

    Angular distributions of spectral reflectance for four common arctic surfaces: snow-covered sea ice, melt-season sea ice, snow-covered tundra, and tundra shortly after snowmelt were measured using an aircraft based, high angular resolution (1-degree) multispectral radiometer. Results indicate bidirectional reflectance is higher for snow-covered sea ice than melt-season sea ice at all wavelengths between 0.47 and 2.3 pm, with the difference increasing with wavelength. Bidirectional reflectance of snow-covered tundra is higher than for snow-free tundra for measurements less than 1.64 pm, with the difference decreasing with wavelength. Bidirectional reflectance patterns of all measured surfaces show maximum reflectance in the forward scattering direction of the principal plane, with identifiable specular reflection for the melt-season sea ice and snow-free tundra cases. The snow-free tundra had the most significant backscatter, and the melt-season sea ice the least. For sea ice, bidirectional reflectance changes due to snowmelt were more significant than differences among the different types of melt-season sea ice. Also the spectral-hemispherical (plane) albedo of each measured arctic surface was computed. Comparing measured nadir reflectance to albedo for sea ice and snow-covered tundra shows albedo underestimated 5-40%, with the largest bias at wavelengths beyond 1 pm. For snow-free tundra, nadir reflectance underestimates plane albedo by about 30-50%.

  2. The role of feedbacks in Antarctic sea ice change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feltham, D. L.; Frew, R. C.; Holland, P.

    2017-12-01

    The changes in Antarctic sea ice over the last thirty years have a strong seasonal dependence, and the way these changes grow in spring and decay in autumn suggests that feedbacks are strongly involved. The changes may ultimately be caused by atmospheric warming, the winds, snowfall changes, etc., but we cannot understand these forcings without first untangling the feedbacks. A highly simplified coupled sea ice -mixed layer model has been developed to investigate the importance of feedbacks on the evolution of sea ice in two contrasting regions in the Southern Ocean; the Amundsen Sea where sea ice extent has been decreasing, and the Weddell Sea where it has been expanding. The change in mixed layer depth in response to changes in the atmosphere to ocean energy flux is implicit in a strong negative feedback on ice cover changes in the Amundsen Sea, with atmospheric cooling leading to a deeper mixed layer resulting in greater entrainment of warm Circumpolar Deep Water, causing increased basal melting of sea ice. This strong negative feedback produces counter intuitive responses to changes in forcings in the Amundsen Sea. This feedback is absent in the Weddell due to the complete destratification and strong water column cooling that occurs each winter in simulations. The impact of other feedbacks, including the albedo feedback, changes in insulation due to ice thickness and changes in the freezing temperature of the mixed layer, were found to be of secondary importance compared to changes in the mixed layer depth.

  3. Effect of retreating sea ice on Arctic cloud cover in simulated recent global warming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Abe

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the effect of sea ice reduction on Arctic cloud cover in historical simulations with the coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model MIROC5. Arctic sea ice has been substantially retreating since the 1980s, particularly in September, under simulated global warming conditions. The simulated sea ice reduction is consistent with satellite observations. On the other hand, Arctic cloud cover has been increasing in October, with about a 1-month lag behind the sea ice reduction. The delayed response leads to extensive sea ice reductions because the heat and moisture fluxes from the underlying open ocean into the atmosphere are enhanced. Sensitivity experiments with the atmospheric part of MIROC5 clearly show that sea ice reduction causes increases in cloud cover. Arctic cloud cover increases primarily in the lower troposphere, but it decreases in the near-surface layers just above the ocean; predominant temperature rises in these near-surface layers cause drying (i.e., decreases in relative humidity, despite increasing moisture flux. Cloud radiative forcing due to increases in cloud cover in autumn brings an increase in the surface downward longwave radiation (DLR by approximately 40–60 % compared to changes in clear-sky surface DLR in fall. These results suggest that an increase in Arctic cloud cover as a result of reduced sea ice coverage may bring further sea ice retreat and enhance the feedback processes of Arctic warming.

  4. Multiscale Models of Melting Arctic Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    Sea ice reflectance or albedo , a key parameter in climate modeling, is primarily determined by melt pond and ice floe configurations. Ice - albedo ...determine their albedo - a key parameter in climate modeling. Here we explore the possibility of a conceptual sea ice climate model passing through a...bifurcation points. Ising model for melt ponds on Arctic sea ice Y. Ma, I. Sudakov, and K. M. Golden Abstract: The albedo of melting

  5. Sea ice roughness: the key for predicting Arctic summer ice albedo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landy, J.; Ehn, J. K.; Tsamados, M.; Stroeve, J.; Barber, D. G.

    2017-12-01

    Although melt ponds on Arctic sea ice evolve in stages, ice with smoother surface topography typically allows the pond water to spread over a wider area, reducing the ice-albedo and accelerating further melt. Building on this theory, we simulated the distribution of meltwater on a range of statistically-derived topographies to develop a quantitative relationship between premelt sea ice surface roughness and summer ice albedo. Our method, previously applied to ICESat observations of the end-of-winter sea ice roughness, could account for 85% of the variance in AVHRR observations of the summer ice-albedo [Landy et al., 2015]. Consequently, an Arctic-wide reduction in sea ice roughness over the ICESat operational period (from 2003 to 2008) explained a drop in ice-albedo that resulted in a 16% increase in solar heat input to the sea ice cover. Here we will review this work and present new research linking pre-melt sea ice surface roughness observations from Cryosat-2 to summer sea ice albedo over the past six years, examining the potential of winter roughness as a significant new source of sea ice predictability. We will further evaluate the possibility for high-resolution (kilometre-scale) forecasts of summer sea ice albedo from waveform-level Cryosat-2 roughness data in the landfast sea ice zone of the Canadian Arctic. Landy, J. C., J. K. Ehn, and D. G. Barber (2015), Albedo feedback enhanced by smoother Arctic sea ice, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 10,714-10,720, doi:10.1002/2015GL066712.

  6. Sea Ice Concentration Estimation Using Active and Passive Remote Sensing Data Fusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Y.; Li, F.; Zhang, S.; Zhu, T.

    2017-12-01

    In this abstract, a decision-level fusion method by utilizing SAR and passive microwave remote sensing data for sea ice concentration estimation is investigated. Sea ice concentration product from passive microwave concentration retrieval methods has large uncertainty within thin ice zone. Passive microwave data including SSM/I, AMSR-E, and AMSR-2 provide daily and long time series observations covering whole polar sea ice scene, and SAR images provide rich sea ice details with high spatial resolution including deformation and polarimetric features. In the proposed method, the merits from passive microwave data and SAR data are considered. Sea ice concentration products from ASI and sea ice category label derived from CRF framework in SAR imagery are calibrated under least distance protocol. For SAR imagery, incident angle and azimuth angle were used to correct backscattering values from slant range to ground range in order to improve geocoding accuracy. The posterior probability distribution between category label from SAR imagery and passive microwave sea ice concentration product is modeled and integrated under Bayesian network, where Gaussian statistical distribution from ASI sea ice concentration products serves as the prior term, which represented as an uncertainty of sea ice concentration. Empirical model based likelihood term is constructed under Bernoulli theory, which meets the non-negative and monotonically increasing conditions. In the posterior probability estimation procedure, final sea ice concentration is obtained using MAP criterion, which equals to minimize the cost function and it can be calculated with nonlinear iteration method. The proposed algorithm is tested on multiple satellite SAR data sets including GF-3, Sentinel-1A, RADARSAT-2 and Envisat ASAR. Results show that the proposed algorithm can improve the accuracy of ASI sea ice concentration products and reduce the uncertainty along the ice edge.

  7. On the potential for abrupt Arctic winter sea-ice loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bathiany, S.; Notz, Dirk; Mauritsen, T.; Raedel, G.; Brovkin, V.

    2016-01-01

    The authors examine the transition from a seasonally ice-covered Arctic to an Arctic Ocean that is sea ice free all year round under increasing atmospheric CO2 levels. It is shown that in comprehensive climate models, such loss of Arctic winter sea ice area is faster than the preceding loss of

  8. Analysis of Sea Ice Cover Sensitivity in Global Climate Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. P. Parhomenko

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents joint calculations using a 3D atmospheric general circulation model, an ocean model, and a sea ice evolution model. The purpose of the work is to analyze a seasonal and annual evolution of sea ice, long-term variability of a model ice cover, and its sensitivity to some parameters of model as well to define atmosphere-ice-ocean interaction.Results of 100 years simulations of Arctic basin sea ice evolution are analyzed. There are significant (about 0.5 m inter-annual fluctuations of an ice cover.The ice - atmosphere sensible heat flux reduced by 10% leads to the growth of average sea ice thickness within the limits of 0.05 m – 0.1 m. However in separate spatial points the thickness decreases up to 0.5 m. An analysis of the seasonably changing average ice thickness with decreasing, as compared to the basic variant by 0.05 of clear sea ice albedo and that of snow shows the ice thickness reduction in a range from 0.2 m up to 0.6 m, and the change maximum falls for the summer season of intensive melting. The spatial distribution of ice thickness changes shows, that on the large part of the Arctic Ocean there was a reduction of ice thickness down to 1 m. However, there is also an area of some increase of the ice layer basically in a range up to 0.2 m (Beaufort Sea. The 0.05 decrease of sea ice snow albedo leads to reduction of average ice thickness approximately by 0.2 m, and this value slightly depends on a season. In the following experiment the ocean – ice thermal interaction influence on the ice cover is estimated. It is carried out by increase of a heat flux from ocean to the bottom surface of sea ice by 2 W/sq. m in comparison with base variant. The analysis demonstrates, that the average ice thickness reduces in a range from 0.2 m to 0.35 m. There are small seasonal changes of this value.The numerical experiments results have shown, that an ice cover and its seasonal evolution rather strongly depend on varied parameters

  9. Role of polar anticyclones and mid-latitude cyclones for Arctic summertime sea-ice melting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wernli, Heini; Papritz, Lukas

    2018-02-01

    Annual minima in Arctic sea-ice extent and volume have been decreasing rapidly since the late 1970s, with substantial interannual variability. Summers with a particularly strong reduction of Arctic sea-ice extent are characterized by anticyclonic circulation anomalies from the surface to the upper troposphere. Here, we investigate the origin of these seasonal circulation anomalies by identifying individual Arctic anticyclones (with a lifetime of typically ten days) and analysing the air mass transport into these systems. We reveal that these episodic upper-level induced Arctic anticyclones are relevant for generating seasonal circulation anomalies. Sea-ice reduction is systematically enhanced during the transient episodes with Arctic anticyclones and the seasonal reduction of sea-ice volume correlates with the area-averaged frequency of Arctic anticyclones poleward of 70° N (correlation coefficient of 0.57). A trajectory analysis shows that these anticyclones result from extratropical cyclones injecting extratropical air masses with low potential vorticity into the Arctic upper troposphere. Our results emphasize the fundamental role of extratropical cyclones and associated diabatic processes in establishing Arctic anticyclones and, in turn, seasonal circulation anomalies, which are of key importance for understanding the variability of summertime Arctic sea-ice melting.

  10. Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent - Northern Hemisphere (MASIE-NH)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent Northern Hemisphere (MASIE-NH) products provide measurements of daily sea ice extent and sea ice edge boundary for the...

  11. Possible connections of the opposite trends in Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Lejiang; Zhong, Shiyuan; Winkler, Julie A; Zhou, Mingyu; Lenschow, Donald H; Li, Bingrui; Wang, Xianqiao; Yang, Qinghua

    2017-04-05

    Sea ice is an important component of the global climate system and a key indicator of climate change. A decreasing trend in Arctic sea-ice concentration is evident in recent years, whereas Antarctic sea-ice concentration exhibits a generally increasing trend. Various studies have investigated the underlying causes of the observed trends for each region, but possible linkages between the regional trends have not been studied. Here, we hypothesize that the opposite trends in Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice concentration may be linked, at least partially, through interdecadal variability of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). Although evaluation of this hypothesis is constrained by the limitations of the sea-ice cover record, preliminary statistical analyses of one short-term and two long-term time series of observed and reanalysis sea-ice concentrations data suggest the possibility of the hypothesized linkages. For all three data sets, the leading mode of variability of global sea-ice concentration is positively correlated with the AMO and negatively correlated with the PDO. Two wave trains related to the PDO and the AMO appear to produce anomalous surface-air temperature and low-level wind fields in the two polar regions that contribute to the opposite changes in sea-ice concentration.

  12. Winter Arctic sea ice growth: current variability and projections for the coming decades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petty, A.; Boisvert, L.; Webster, M.; Holland, M. M.; Bailey, D. A.; Kurtz, N. T.; Markus, T.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic sea ice increases in both extent and thickness during the cold winter months ( October to May). Winter sea ice growth is an important factor controlling ocean ventilation and winter water/deep water formation, as well as determining the state and vulnerability of the sea ice pack before the melt season begins. Key questions for the Arctic community thus include: (i) what is the current magnitude and variability of winter Arctic sea ice growth and (ii) how might this change in a warming Arctic climate? To address (i), our current best guess of pan-Arctic sea ice thickness, and thus volume, comes from satellite altimetry observations, e.g. from ESA's CryoSat-2 satellite. A significant source of uncertainty in these data come from poor knowledge of the overlying snow depth. Here we present new estimates of winter sea ice thickness from CryoSat-2 using snow depths from a simple snow model forced by reanalyses and satellite-derived ice drift estimates, combined with snow depth estimates from NASA's Operation IceBridge. To address (ii), we use data from the Community Earth System Model's Large Ensemble Project, to explore sea ice volume and growth variability, and how this variability might change over the coming decades. We compare and contrast the model simulations to observations and the PIOMAS ice-ocean model (over recent years/decades). The combination of model and observational analysis provide novel insight into Arctic sea ice volume variability.

  13. Greenland coastal air temperatures linked to Baffin Bay and Greenland Sea ice conditions during autumn through regional blocking patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballinger, Thomas J.; Hanna, Edward; Hall, Richard J.; Miller, Jeffrey; Ribergaard, Mads H.; Høyer, Jacob L.

    2018-01-01

    Variations in sea ice freeze onset and regional sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in Baffin Bay and Greenland Sea are linked to autumn surface air temperatures (SATs) around coastal Greenland through 500 hPa blocking patterns, 1979-2014. We find strong, statistically significant correlations between Baffin Bay freeze onset and SSTs and SATs across the western and southernmost coastal areas, while weaker and fewer significant correlations are found between eastern SATs, SSTs, and freeze periods observed in the neighboring Greenland Sea. Autumn Greenland Blocking Index values and the incidence of meridional circulation patterns have increased over the modern sea ice monitoring era. Increased anticyclonic blocking patterns promote poleward transport of warm air from lower latitudes and local warm air advection onshore from ocean-atmosphere sensible heat exchange through ice-free or thin ice-covered seas bordering the coastal stations. Temperature composites by years of extreme late freeze conditions, occurring since 2006 in Baffin Bay, reveal positive monthly SAT departures that often exceed 1 standard deviation from the 1981-2010 climate normal over coastal areas that exhibit a similar spatial pattern as the peak correlations.

  14. Isolating the atmospheric circulation response to Arctic sea-ice loss in the coupled climate system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kushner, Paul; Blackport, Russell

    2017-04-01

    In the coupled climate system, projected global warming drives extensive sea-ice loss, but sea-ice loss drives warming that amplifies and can be confounded with the global warming process. This makes it challenging to cleanly attribute the atmospheric circulation response to sea-ice loss within coupled earth-system model (ESM) simulations of greenhouse warming. In this study, many centuries of output from coupled ocean/atmosphere/land/sea-ice ESM simulations driven separately by sea-ice albedo reduction and by projected greenhouse-dominated radiative forcing are combined to cleanly isolate the hemispheric scale response of the circulation to sea-ice loss. To isolate the sea-ice loss signal, a pattern scaling approach is proposed in which the local multidecadal mean atmospheric response is assumed to be separately proportional to the total sea-ice loss and to the total low latitude ocean surface warming. The proposed approach estimates the response to Arctic sea-ice loss with low latitude ocean temperatures fixed and vice versa. The sea-ice response includes a high northern latitude easterly zonal wind response, an equatorward shift of the eddy driven jet, a weakening of the stratospheric polar vortex, an anticyclonic sea level pressure anomaly over coastal Eurasia, a cyclonic sea level pressure anomaly over the North Pacific, and increased wintertime precipitation over the west coast of North America. Many of these responses are opposed by the response to low-latitude surface warming with sea ice fixed. However, both sea-ice loss and low latitude surface warming act in concert to reduce storm track strength throughout the mid and high latitudes. The responses are similar in two related versions of the National Center for Atmospheric Research earth system models, apart from the stratospheric polar vortex response. Evidence is presented that internal variability can easily contaminate the estimates if not enough independent climate states are used to construct them

  15. Carbon Dioxide Transfer Through Sea Ice: Modelling Flux in Brine Channels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, L.; Mitchelson-Jacob, G.; Hardman-Mountford, N.

    2010-12-01

    For many years sea ice was thought to act as a barrier to the flux of CO2 between the ocean and atmosphere. However, laboratory-based and in-situ observations suggest that while sea ice may in some circumstances reduce or prevent transfer (e.g. in regions of thick, superimposed multi-year ice), it may also be highly permeable (e.g. thin, first year ice) with some studies observing significant fluxes of CO2. Sea ice covered regions have been observed to act both as a sink and a source of atmospheric CO2 with the permeability of sea ice and direction of flux related to sea ice temperature and the presence of brine channels in the ice, as well as seasonal processes such as whether the ice is freezing or thawing. Brine channels concentrate dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) as well as salinity and as these dense waters descend through both the sea ice and the surface ocean waters, they create a sink for CO2. Calcium carbonate (ikaite) precipitation in the sea ice is thought to enhance this process. Micro-organisms present within the sea ice will also contribute to the CO2 flux dynamics. Recent evidence of decreasing sea ice extent and the associated change from a multi-year ice to first-year ice dominated system suggest the potential for increased CO2 flux through regions of thinner, more porous sea ice. A full understanding of the processes and feedbacks controlling the flux in these regions is needed to determine their possible contribution to global CO2 levels in a future warming climate scenario. Despite the significance of these regions, the air-sea CO2 flux in sea ice covered regions is not currently included in global climate models. Incorporating this carbon flux system into Earth System models requires the development of a well-parameterised sea ice-air flux model. In our work we use the Los Alamos sea ice model, CICE, with a modification to incorporate the movement of CO2 through brine channels including the addition of DIC processes and ice algae production to

  16. History of sea ice in the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Polyak, Leonid; Alley, Richard B.; Andrews, John T.

    2010-01-01

    Arctic sea-ice extent and volume are declining rapidly. Several studies project that the Arctic Ocean may become seasonally ice-free by the year 2040 or even earlier. Putting this into perspective requires information on the history of Arctic sea-ice conditions through the geologic past. This inf......Arctic sea-ice extent and volume are declining rapidly. Several studies project that the Arctic Ocean may become seasonally ice-free by the year 2040 or even earlier. Putting this into perspective requires information on the history of Arctic sea-ice conditions through the geologic past...... Optimum, and consistently covered at least part of the Arctic Ocean for no less than the last 13–14 million years. Ice was apparently most widespread during the last 2–3 million years, in accordance with Earth’s overall cooler climate. Nevertheless, episodes of considerably reduced sea ice or even...

  17. Sea ice biogeochemistry: a guide for modellers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Letizia Tedesco

    Full Text Available Sea ice is a fundamental component of the climate system and plays a key role in polar trophic food webs. Nonetheless sea ice biogeochemical dynamics at large temporal and spatial scales are still rarely described. Numerical models may potentially contribute integrating among sparse observations, but available models of sea ice biogeochemistry are still scarce, whether their relevance for properly describing the current and future state of the polar oceans has been recently addressed. A general methodology to develop a sea ice biogeochemical model is presented, deriving it from an existing validated model application by extension of generic pelagic biogeochemistry model parameterizations. The described methodology is flexible and considers different levels of ecosystem complexity and vertical representation, while adopting a strategy of coupling that ensures mass conservation. We show how to apply this methodology step by step by building an intermediate complexity model from a published realistic application and applying it to analyze theoretically a typical season of first-year sea ice in the Arctic, the one currently needing the most urgent understanding. The aim is to (1 introduce sea ice biogeochemistry and address its relevance to ocean modelers of polar regions, supporting them in adding a new sea ice component to their modelling framework for a more adequate representation of the sea ice-covered ocean ecosystem as a whole, and (2 extend our knowledge on the relevant controlling factors of sea ice algal production, showing that beyond the light and nutrient availability, the duration of the sea ice season may play a key-role shaping the algal production during the on going and upcoming projected changes.

  18. Antarctic sea ice losses drive gains in benthic carbon drawdown.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, D K A

    2015-09-21

    Climate forcing of sea-ice losses from the Arctic and West Antarctic are blueing the poles. These losses are accelerating, reducing Earth's albedo and increasing heat absorption. Subarctic forest (area expansion and increased growth) and ice-shelf losses (resulting in new phytoplankton blooms which are eaten by benthos) are the only significant described negative feedbacks acting to counteract the effects of increasing CO2 on a warming planet, together accounting for uptake of ∼10(7) tonnes of carbon per year. Most sea-ice loss to date has occurred over polar continental shelves, which are richly, but patchily, colonised by benthic animals. Most polar benthos feeds on microscopic algae (phytoplankton), which has shown increased blooms coincident with sea-ice losses. Here, growth responses of Antarctic shelf benthos to sea-ice losses and phytoplankton increases were investigated. Analysis of two decades of benthic collections showed strong increases in annual production of shelf seabed carbon in West Antarctic bryozoans. These were calculated to have nearly doubled to >2x10(5) tonnes of carbon per year since the 1980s. Annual production of bryozoans is median within wider Antarctic benthos, so upscaling to include other benthos (combined study species typically constitute ∼3% benthic biomass) suggests an increased drawdown of ∼2.9x10(6) tonnes of carbon per year. This drawdown could become sequestration because polar continental shelves are typically deeper than most modern iceberg scouring, bacterial breakdown rates are slow, and benthos is easily buried. To date, most sea-ice losses have been Arctic, so, if hyperboreal benthos shows a similar increase in drawdown, polar continental shelves would represent Earth's largest negative feedback to climate change. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Remarkable separability of the circulation response to Arctic sea ice loss and greenhouse gas forcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCusker, K. E.; Kushner, P. J.; Fyfe, J. C.; Sigmond, M.; Kharin, V. V.; Bitz, C. M.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic sea ice loss has an important effect on local climate through increases in ocean to atmosphere heat flux and associated feedbacks, and may influence midlatitude climate by changing large-scale circulation that can enhance or counter changes that are due to greenhouse gases. The extent to which climate change in a warming world can be understood as greenhouse gas-induced changes that are modulated by Arctic sea ice loss depends on how additive the responses to the separate influences are. Here we use a novel sea ice nudging methodology in the Canadian Earth System Model, which has a fully coupled ocean, to isolate the effects of Arctic sea ice loss and doubled atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) to determine their additivity and sensitivity to mean state. We find that the separate effects of Arctic sea ice loss and doubled CO2 are remarkably additive and relatively insensitive to mean climate state. This separability is evident in several thermodynamic and dynamic fields throughout most of the year, from hemispheric to synoptic scales. The extent to which the regional response to sea ice loss sometimes agrees with and sometimes cancels the response to CO2 is quantified. In this model, Arctic sea ice loss enhances the CO2-induced surface air temperature changes nearly everywhere and zonal wind changes over the Pacific sector, whereas sea ice loss counters CO2-induced sea level pressure changes nearly everywhere over land and zonal wind changes over the Atlantic sector. This separability of the response to Arctic sea ice loss from the response to CO2 doubling gives credence to the body of work in which Arctic sea ice loss is isolated from the forcing that modified it, and might provide a means to better interpret the diverse array of modeling and observational studies of Arctic change and influence.

  20. Observations of brine plumes below melting Arctic sea ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. K. Peterson

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available In sea ice, interconnected pockets and channels of brine are surrounded by fresh ice. Over time, brine is lost by gravity drainage and flushing. The timing of salt release and its interaction with the underlying water can impact subsequent sea ice melt. Turbulence measurements 1 m below melting sea ice north of Svalbard reveal anticorrelated heat and salt fluxes. From the observations, 131 salty plumes descending from the warm sea ice are identified, confirming previous observations from a Svalbard fjord. The plumes are likely triggered by oceanic heat through bottom melt. Calculated over a composite plume, oceanic heat and salt fluxes during the plumes account for 6 and 9 % of the total fluxes, respectively, while only lasting in total 0.5 % of the time. The observed salt flux accumulates to 7.6 kg m−2, indicating nearly full desalination of the ice. Bulk salinity reduction between two nearby ice cores agrees with accumulated salt fluxes to within a factor of 2. The increasing fraction of younger, more saline ice in the Arctic suggests an increase in desalination processes with the transition to the new Arctic.

  1. Observations of brine plumes below melting Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Algot K.

    2018-02-01

    In sea ice, interconnected pockets and channels of brine are surrounded by fresh ice. Over time, brine is lost by gravity drainage and flushing. The timing of salt release and its interaction with the underlying water can impact subsequent sea ice melt. Turbulence measurements 1 m below melting sea ice north of Svalbard reveal anticorrelated heat and salt fluxes. From the observations, 131 salty plumes descending from the warm sea ice are identified, confirming previous observations from a Svalbard fjord. The plumes are likely triggered by oceanic heat through bottom melt. Calculated over a composite plume, oceanic heat and salt fluxes during the plumes account for 6 and 9 % of the total fluxes, respectively, while only lasting in total 0.5 % of the time. The observed salt flux accumulates to 7.6 kg m-2, indicating nearly full desalination of the ice. Bulk salinity reduction between two nearby ice cores agrees with accumulated salt fluxes to within a factor of 2. The increasing fraction of younger, more saline ice in the Arctic suggests an increase in desalination processes with the transition to the new Arctic.

  2. Spring–summer albedo variations of Antarctic sea ice from 1982 to 2009

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shao, Zhu-De; Ke, Chang-Qing

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the spring–summer (November, December, January and February) albedo averages and trends using a dataset consisting of 28 years of homogenized satellite data for the entire Antarctic sea ice region and for five longitudinal sectors around Antarctica: the Weddell Sea (WS), the Indian Ocean sector (IO), the Pacific Ocean sector (PO), the Ross Sea (RS) and the Bellingshausen–Amundsen Sea (BS). Time series data of the sea ice concentrations and sea surface temperatures were used to analyse their relations to the albedo. The results indicated that the sea ice albedo increased slightly during the study period, at a rate of 0.314% per decade, over the Antarctic sea ice region. The sea ice albedos in the PO, the IO and the WS increased at rates of 2.599% per decade (confidence level 99.86%), 0.824% per decade and 0.413% per decade, respectively, and the steepest increase occurred in the PO. However, the sea ice albedo in the BS decreased at a rate of −1.617% per decade (confidence level 95.05%) and was near zero in the RS. The spring–summer average albedo over the Antarctic sea ice region was 50.24%. The highest albedo values were mainly found on the continental coast and in the WS; in contrast, the lowest albedo values were found on the outer edge of the sea ice, the RS and the Amery Ice Shelf. The average albedo in the western Antarctic sea ice region was distinctly higher than that in the east. The albedo was significantly positively correlated with sea ice concentration (SIC) and was significantly negatively correlated with sea surface temperature (SST); these scenarios held true for all five longitudinal sectors. Spatially, the higher surface albedos follow the higher SICs and lower SST patterns. The increasing albedo means that Antarctic sea ice region reflects more solar radiation and absorbs less, leading to a decrease in temperature and much snowfall on sea ice, and further resulted in an increase in albedo. Conversely, the decreasing

  3. Northern Alaskan land surface response to reduced Arctic sea ice extent

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Higgins, Matthew E. [University of Colorado, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Boulder, CO (United States); Cassano, John J. [University of Colorado, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Boulder, CO (United States)

    2012-05-15

    With Arctic sea ice extent at near-record lows, an improved understanding of the relationship between sea ice and the land surface is warranted. We examine the land surface response to changing sea ice by first conducting a simulation using the Community Atmospheric Model version 3.1 with end of the twenty-first century sea ice extent. This future atmospheric response is then used to force the Weather and Research Forecasting Model version 3.1 to examine the terrestrial land surface response at high resolution over the North Slope of Alaska. Similar control simulations with twentieth century sea ice projections are also performed, and in both simulations only sea ice extent is altered. In the future sea ice extent experiment, atmospheric temperature increases significantly due to increases in latent and sensible heat flux, particularly in the winter season. Precipitation and snow pack increase significantly, and the increased snow pack contributes to warmer soil temperatures for most seasons by insulating the land surface. In the summer, however, soil temperatures are reduced due to increased albedo. Despite warmer near-surface atmospheric temperatures, it is found that spring melt is delayed throughout much of the North Slope due to the increased snow pack, and the growing season length is shortened. (orig.)

  4. Sea ice and pollution-modulated changes in Greenland ice core methanesulfonate and bromine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maselli, Olivia J.; Chellman, Nathan J.; Grieman, Mackenzie; Layman, Lawrence; McConnell, Joseph R.; Pasteris, Daniel; Rhodes, Rachael H.; Saltzman, Eric; Sigl, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Reconstruction of past changes in Arctic sea ice extent may be critical for understanding its future evolution. Methanesulfonate (MSA) and bromine concentrations preserved in ice cores have both been proposed as indicators of past sea ice conditions. In this study, two ice cores from central and north-eastern Greenland were analysed at sub-annual resolution for MSA (CH3SO3H) and bromine, covering the time period 1750-2010. We examine correlations between ice core MSA and the HadISST1 ICE sea ice dataset and consult back trajectories to infer the likely source regions. A strong correlation between the low-frequency MSA and bromine records during pre-industrial times indicates that both chemical species are likely linked to processes occurring on or near sea ice in the same source regions. The positive correlation between ice core MSA and bromine persists until the mid-20th century, when the acidity of Greenland ice begins to increase markedly due to increased fossil fuel emissions. After that time, MSA levels decrease as a result of declining sea ice extent but bromine levels increase. We consider several possible explanations and ultimately suggest that increased acidity, specifically nitric acid, of snow on sea ice stimulates the release of reactive Br from sea ice, resulting in increased transport and deposition on the Greenland ice sheet.

  5. How robust is the atmospheric circulation response to Arctic sea-ice loss in isolation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kushner, P. J.; Hay, S. E.; Blackport, R.; McCusker, K. E.; Oudar, T.

    2017-12-01

    It is now apparent that active dynamical coupling between the ocean and atmosphere determines a good deal of how Arctic sea-ice loss changes the large-scale atmospheric circulation. In coupled ocean-atmosphere models, Arctic sea-ice loss indirectly induces a 'mini' global warming and circulation changes that extend into the tropics and the Southern Hemisphere. Ocean-atmosphere coupling also amplifies by about 50% Arctic free-tropospheric warming arising from sea-ice loss (Deser et al. 2015, 2016). The mechanisms at work and how to separate the response to sea-ice loss from the rest of the global warming process remain poorly understood. Different studies have used distinctive numerical approaches and coupled ocean-atmosphere models to address this problem. We put these studies on comparable footing using pattern scaling (Blackport and Kushner 2017) to separately estimate the part of the circulation response that scales with sea-ice loss in the absence of low-latitude warming from the part that scales with low-latitude warming in the absence of sea-ice loss. We consider well-sampled simulations from three different coupled ocean-atmosphere models (CESM1, CanESM2, CNRM-CM5), in which greenhouse warming and sea-ice loss are driven in different ways (sea ice albedo reduction/transient RCP8.5 forcing for CESM1, nudged sea ice/CO2 doubling for CanESM2, heat-flux forcing/constant RCP8.5-derived forcing for CNRM-CM5). Across these different simulations, surprisingly robust influences of Arctic sea-ice loss on atmospheric circulation can be diagnosed using pattern scaling. For boreal winter, the isolated sea-ice loss effect acts to increase warming in the North American Sub-Arctic, decrease warming of the Eurasian continent, enhance precipitation over the west coast of North America, and strengthen the Aleutian Low and the Siberian High. We will also discuss how Arctic free tropospheric warming might be enhanced via midlatitude ocean surface warming induced by sea-ice loss

  6. Arctic tides from GPS on sea ice

    OpenAIRE

    Kildegaard Rose, Stine; Skourup, Henriette; Forsberg, René

    2012-01-01

    The presence of sea-ice in the Arctic Ocean plays a significant role in the Arctic climate. Sea ice dampens the ocean tide amplitude with the result that global tidal models which use only astronomical data perform less accurately in the polar regions. This study presents a kinematic processing of Global Positioning System (GPS) buoys placed on sea-ice at five different sites north of Greenland for the study of sea level height and tidal analysis to improve tidal models in the Central Arctic....

  7. Bacterial communities from Arctic seasonal sea ice are more compositionally variable than those from multi-year sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatam, Ido; Lange, Benjamin; Beckers, Justin; Haas, Christian; Lanoil, Brian

    2016-10-01

    Arctic sea ice can be classified into two types: seasonal ice (first-year ice, FYI) and multi-year ice (MYI). Despite striking differences in the physical and chemical characteristics of FYI and MYI, and the key role sea ice bacteria play in biogeochemical cycles of the Arctic Ocean, there are a limited number of studies comparing the bacterial communities from these two ice types. Here, we compare the membership and composition of bacterial communities from FYI and MYI sampled north of Ellesmere Island, Canada. Our results show that communities from both ice types were dominated by similar class-level phylogenetic groups. However, at the operational taxonomic unit (OTU) level, communities from MYI and FYI differed in both membership and composition. Communities from MYI sites had consistent structure, with similar membership (presence/absence) and composition (OTU abundance) independent of location and year of sample. By contrast, communities from FYI were more variable. Although FYI bacterial communities from different locations and different years shared similar membership, they varied significantly in composition. Should these findings apply to sea ice across the Arctic, we predict increased compositional variability in sea ice bacterial communities resulting from the ongoing transition from predominantly MYI to FYI, which may impact nutrient dynamics in the Arctic Ocean.

  8. In Situ Experimental Study of the Friction of Sea Ice and Steel on Sea Ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qingkai Wang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The kinetic coefficient of friction μk was measured for sea ice, stainless steel, and coated steel sliding on a natural sea ice cover. The effects of normal stress (3.10–8.11 kPa, ice columnar grain orientation (vertical and parallel to the sliding direction, sliding velocity (0.02–2.97 m·s–1, and contact material were investigated. Air temperature was higher than −5.0 °C for the test duration. The results showed a decline of μk with increasing normal stress with μk independent of ice grain orientation. The μk of different materials varied, partly due to distinct surface roughnesses, but all cases showed a similar increasing trend with increasing velocity because of the viscous resistance of melt-water film. The velocity dependence of μk was quantified using the rate- and state- dependent model, and μk was found to increase logarithmically with increasing velocity. In addition, μk obtained at higher air temperatures was greater than at lower temperatures. The stick-slip phenomenon was observed at a relatively high velocity compared with previous studies, which was partly due to the low-stiffness device used in the field. Based on the experimental data, the calculation of physical models can be compared.

  9. The future of ice sheets and sea ice: between reversible retreat and unstoppable loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notz, Dirk

    2009-12-08

    We discuss the existence of cryospheric "tipping points" in the Earth's climate system. Such critical thresholds have been suggested to exist for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice and the retreat of ice sheets: Once these ice masses have shrunk below an anticipated critical extent, the ice-albedo feedback might lead to the irreversible and unstoppable loss of the remaining ice. We here give an overview of our current understanding of such threshold behavior. By using conceptual arguments, we review the recent findings that such a tipping point probably does not exist for the loss of Arctic summer sea ice. Hence, in a cooler climate, sea ice could recover rapidly from the loss it has experienced in recent years. In addition, we discuss why this recent rapid retreat of Arctic summer sea ice might largely be a consequence of a slow shift in ice-thickness distribution, which will lead to strongly increased year-to-year variability of the Arctic summer sea-ice extent. This variability will render seasonal forecasts of the Arctic summer sea-ice extent increasingly difficult. We also discuss why, in contrast to Arctic summer sea ice, a tipping point is more likely to exist for the loss of the Greenland ice sheet and the West Antarctic ice sheet.

  10. An Investigation of the Radiative Effects and Climate Feedbacks of Sea Ice Sources of Sea Salt Aerosol

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horowitz, H. M.; Alexander, B.; Bitz, C. M.; Jaegle, L.; Burrows, S. M.

    2017-12-01

    In polar regions, sea ice is a major source of sea salt aerosol through lofting of saline frost flowers or blowing saline snow from the sea ice surface. Under continued climate warming, an ice-free Arctic in summer with only first-year, more saline sea ice in winter is likely. Previous work has focused on climate impacts in summer from increasing open ocean sea salt aerosol emissions following complete sea ice loss in the Arctic, with conflicting results suggesting no net radiative effect or a negative climate feedback resulting from a strong first aerosol indirect effect. However, the radiative forcing from changes to the sea ice sources of sea salt aerosol in a future, warmer climate has not previously been explored. Understanding how sea ice loss affects the Arctic climate system requires investigating both open-ocean and sea ice sources of sea-salt aerosol and their potential interactions. Here, we implement a blowing snow source of sea salt aerosol into the Community Earth System Model (CESM) dynamically coupled to the latest version of the Los Alamos sea ice model (CICE5). Snow salinity is a key parameter affecting blowing snow sea salt emissions and previous work has assumed constant regional snow salinity over sea ice. We develop a parameterization for dynamic snow salinity in the sea ice model and examine how its spatial and temporal variability impacts the production of sea salt from blowing snow. We evaluate and constrain the snow salinity parameterization using available observations. Present-day coupled CESM-CICE5 simulations of sea salt aerosol concentrations including sea ice sources are evaluated against in situ and satellite (CALIOP) observations in polar regions. We then quantify the present-day radiative forcing from the addition of blowing snow sea salt aerosol with respect to aerosol-radiation and aerosol-cloud interactions. The relative contributions of sea ice vs. open ocean sources of sea salt aerosol to radiative forcing in polar regions is

  11. Cloud Response to Arctic Sea Ice Loss and Implications for Feedbacks in the CESM1 Climate Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, A.; Kay, J. E.; Chepfer, H.; Guzman, R.; Bonazzola, M.

    2017-12-01

    Clouds have the potential to accelerate or slow the rate of Arctic sea ice loss through their radiative influence on the surface. Cloud feedbacks can therefore play into Arctic warming as clouds respond to changes in sea ice cover. As the Arctic moves toward an ice-free state, understanding how cloud - sea ice relationships change in response to sea ice loss is critical for predicting the future climate trajectory. From satellite observations we know the effect of present-day sea ice cover on clouds, but how will clouds respond to sea ice loss as the Arctic transitions to a seasonally open water state? In this study we use a lidar simulator to first evaluate cloud - sea ice relationships in the Community Earth System Model (CESM1) against present-day observations (2006-2015). In the current climate, the cloud response to sea ice is well-represented in CESM1: we see no summer cloud response to changes in sea ice cover, but more fall clouds over open water than over sea ice. Since CESM1 is credible for the current Arctic climate, we next assess if our process-based understanding of Arctic cloud feedbacks related to sea ice loss is relevant for understanding future Arctic clouds. In the future Arctic, summer cloud structure continues to be insensitive to surface conditions. As the Arctic warms in the fall, however, the boundary layer deepens and cloud fraction increases over open ocean during each consecutive decade from 2020 - 2100. This study will also explore seasonal changes in cloud properties such as opacity and liquid water path. Results thus far suggest that a positive fall cloud - sea ice feedback exists in the present-day and future Arctic climate.

  12. Future Arctic marine access: analysis and evaluation of observations, models, and projections of sea ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. S. Rogers

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available There is an emerging need for regional applications of sea ice projections to provide more accuracy and greater detail to scientists, national, state and local planners, and other stakeholders. The present study offers a prototype for a comprehensive, interdisciplinary study to bridge observational data, climate model simulations, and user needs. The study's first component is an observationally based evaluation of Arctic sea ice trends during 1980–2008, with an emphasis on seasonal and regional differences relative to the overall pan-Arctic trend. Regional sea ice loss has varied, with a significantly larger decline of winter maximum (January–March extent in the Atlantic region than in other sectors. A lead–lag regression analysis of Atlantic sea ice extent and ocean temperatures indicates that reduced sea ice extent is associated with increased Atlantic Ocean temperatures. Correlations between the two variables are greater when ocean temperatures lag rather than lead sea ice. The performance of 13 global climate models is evaluated using three metrics to compare sea ice simulations with the observed record. We rank models over the pan-Arctic domain and regional quadrants and synthesize model performance across several different studies. The best performing models project reduced ice cover across key access routes in the Arctic through 2100, with a lengthening of seasons for marine operations by 1–3 months. This assessment suggests that the Northwest and Northeast Passages hold potential for enhanced marine access to the Arctic in the future, including shipping and resource development opportunities.

  13. Southern Ocean frontal structure and sea-ice formation rates revealed by elephant seals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charrassin, J.-B.; Hindell, M.; Rintoul, S. R.; Roquet, F.; Sokolov, S.; Biuw, M.; Costa, D.; Boehme, L.; Lovell, P.; Coleman, R.; Timmermann, R.; Meijers, A.; Meredith, M.; Park, Y.-H.; Bailleul, F.; Goebel, M.; Tremblay, Y.; Bost, C.-A.; McMahon, C. R.; Field, I. C.; Fedak, M. A.; Guinet, C.

    2008-01-01

    Polar regions are particularly sensitive to climate change, with the potential for significant feedbacks between ocean circulation, sea ice, and the ocean carbon cycle. However, the difficulty in obtaining in situ data means that our ability to detect and interpret change is very limited, especially in the Southern Ocean, where the ocean beneath the sea ice remains almost entirely unobserved and the rate of sea-ice formation is poorly known. Here, we show that southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) equipped with oceanographic sensors can measure ocean structure and water mass changes in regions and seasons rarely observed with traditional oceanographic platforms. In particular, seals provided a 30-fold increase in hydrographic profiles from the sea-ice zone, allowing the major fronts to be mapped south of 60°S and sea-ice formation rates to be inferred from changes in upper ocean salinity. Sea-ice production rates peaked in early winter (April–May) during the rapid northward expansion of the pack ice and declined by a factor of 2 to 3 between May and August, in agreement with a three-dimensional coupled ocean–sea-ice model. By measuring the high-latitude ocean during winter, elephant seals fill a “blind spot” in our sampling coverage, enabling the establishment of a truly global ocean-observing system. PMID:18695241

  14. Southern Ocean CO2 sink: the contribution of the sea ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Delille, B.; Vancoppenolle, Martin; Geilfus, Nicolas-Xavier

    2014-01-01

    at the air-sea ice interface. The sea ice changes from a transient source to a sink for atmospheric CO2. We upscale these observations to the whole Antarctic sea ice cover using the NEMO-LIM3 large-scale sea ice-ocean and provide first esti- mates of spring and summer CO2 uptake from the atmosphere...... by Antarctic sea ice. Over the spring- summer period, the Antarctic sea ice cover is a net sink of atmospheric CO2 of 0.029 Pg C, about 58% of the estimated annual uptake from the Southern Ocean. Sea ice then contributes significantly to the sink of CO2 of the Southern Ocean....... undersaturation while the underlying oceanic waters remains slightly oversaturated. The decrease from winter to summer of pCO2 in the brines is driven by dilution with melting ice, dissolution of carbonate crystals, and net primary production. As the ice warms, its permeability increases, allowing CO2 transfer...

  15. Sea ice algal biomass and physiology in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin R. Arrigo

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Sea ice covers approximately 5% of the ocean surface and is one of the most extensive ecosystems on the planet. The microbial communities that live in sea ice represent an important food source for numerous organisms at a time of year when phytoplankton in the water column are scarce. Here we describe the distributions and physiology of sea ice microalgae in the poorly studied Amundsen Sea sector of the Southern Ocean. Microalgal biomass was relatively high in sea ice in the Amundsen Sea, due primarily to well developed surface communities that would have been replenished with nutrients during seawater flooding of the surface as a result of heavy snow accumulation. Elevated biomass was also occasionally observed in slush, interior, and bottom ice microhabitats throughout the region. Sea ice microalgal photophysiology appeared to be controlled by the availability of both light and nutrients. Surface communities used an active xanthophyll cycle and effective pigment sunscreens to protect themselves from harmful ultraviolet and visible radiation. Acclimation to low light microhabitats in sea ice was facilitated by enhanced pigment content per cell, greater photosynthetic accessory pigments, and increased photosynthetic efficiency. Photoacclimation was especially effective in the bottom ice community, where ready access to nutrients would have allowed ice microalgae to synthesize a more efficient photosynthetic apparatus. Surprisingly, the pigment-detected prymnesiophyte Phaeocystis antarctica was an important component of surface communities (slush and surface ponds where its acclimation to high light may precondition it to seed phytoplankton blooms after the sea ice melts in spring.

  16. Rapid changes in surface water carbonate chemistry during Antarctic sea ice melt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Elizabeth M.; Bakker, Dorothee C. E.; Venables, Hugh J.; Whitehouse, Michael J.; Korb, Rebecca E.; Watson, Andrew J.

    2010-11-01

    ABSTRACT The effect of sea ice melt on the carbonate chemistry of surface waters in the Weddell-Scotia Confluence, Southern Ocean, was investigated during January 2008. Contrasting concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), total alkalinity (TA) and the fugacity of carbon dioxide (fCO2) were observed in and around the receding sea ice edge. The precipitation of carbonate minerals such as ikaite (CaCO3.6H2O) in sea ice brine has the net effect of decreasing DIC and TA and increasing the fCO2 in the brine. Deficits in DIC up to 12 +/- 3 μmol kg-1 in the marginal ice zone (MIZ) were consistent with the release of DIC-poor brines to surface waters during sea ice melt. Biological utilization of carbon was the dominant processes and accounted for 41 +/- 1 μmol kg-1 of the summer DIC deficit. The data suggest that the combined effects of biological carbon uptake and the precipitation of carbonates created substantial undersaturation in fCO2 of 95 μatm in the MIZ during summer sea ice melt. Further work is required to improve the understanding of ikaite chemistry in Antarctic sea ice and its importance for the sea ice carbon pump.

  17. Arctic and Southern Ocean Sea Ice Concentrations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Monthly sea ice concentration for Arctic (1901 to 1995) and Southern oceans (1973 to 1990) were digitized on a standard 1-degree grid (cylindrical projection) to...

  18. Arctic Landfast Sea Ice 1953-1998

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The files in this data set contain landfast sea ice data (monthly means) gathered from both Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) and Canadian Ice...

  19. MODIS Snow and Sea Ice Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Dorothy K.; Riggs, George A.; Salomonson, Vincent V.

    2004-01-01

    In this chapter, we describe the suite of Earth Observing System (EOS) Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Terra and Aqua snow and sea ice products. Global, daily products, developed at Goddard Space Flight Center, are archived and distributed through the National Snow and Ice Data Center at various resolutions and on different grids useful for different communities Snow products include binary snow cover, snow albedo, and in the near future, fraction of snow in a 5OO-m pixel. Sea ice products include ice extent determined with two different algorithms, and sea ice surface temperature. The algorithms used to develop these products are described. Both the snow and sea ice products, available since February 24,2000, are useful for modelers. Validation of the products is also discussed.

  20. SENTINEL-1 RESULTS: SEA ICE OPERATIONAL MONITORING

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Toudal Pedersen, Leif; Saldo, Roberto; Fenger-Nielsen, Rasmus

    2015-01-01

    In the present paper we demonstrate the capabilities of the Sentinel-1 SAR data for operational sea-ice and iceberg monitoring. Most of the examples are drawn from the Copernicus Marine Environmental Monitoring Service (CMEMS) production.......In the present paper we demonstrate the capabilities of the Sentinel-1 SAR data for operational sea-ice and iceberg monitoring. Most of the examples are drawn from the Copernicus Marine Environmental Monitoring Service (CMEMS) production....

  1. Variational Ridging in Sea Ice Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, A.; Hunke, E. C.; Lipscomb, W. H.; Maslowski, W.; Kamal, S.

    2017-12-01

    This work presents the results of a new development to make basin-scale sea ice models aware of the shape, porosity and extent of individual ridges within the pack. We have derived an analytic solution for the Euler-Lagrange equation of individual ridges that accounts for non-conservative forces, and therefore the compressive strength of individual ridges. Because a region of the pack is simply a collection of paths of individual ridges, we are able to solve the Euler-Lagrange equation for a large-scale sea ice field also, and therefore the compressive strength of a region of the pack that explicitly accounts for the macro-porosity of ridged debris. We make a number of assumptions that have simplified the problem, such as treating sea ice as a granular material in ridges, and assuming that bending moments associated with ridging are perturbations around an isostatic state. Regardless of these simplifications, the ridge model is remarkably predictive of macro-porosity and ridge shape, and, because our equations are analytic, they do not require costly computations to solve the Euler-Lagrange equation of ridges on the large scale. The new ridge model is therefore applicable to large-scale sea ice models. We present results from this theoretical development, as well as plans to apply it to the Regional Arctic System Model and a community sea ice code. Most importantly, the new ridging model is particularly useful for pinpointing gaps in our observational record of sea ice ridges, and points to the need for improved measurements of the evolution of porosity of deformed ice in the Arctic and Antarctic. Such knowledge is not only useful for improving models, but also for improving estimates of sea ice volume derived from altimetric measurements of sea ice freeboard.

  2. Arctic tides from GPS on sea ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kildegaard Rose, Stine; Skourup, Henriette; Forsberg, René

    The presence of sea-ice in the Arctic Ocean plays a significant role in the Arctic climate. Sea ice dampens the ocean tide amplitude with the result that global tidal models which use only astronomical data perform less accurately in the polar regions. This study presents a kinematic processing o......-gauges and altimetry data. Furthermore, we prove that the geodetic reference ellipsoid WGS84, can be interpolated to the tidal defined zero level by applying geophysical corrections to the GPS data....

  3. The Hamburg sea-ice model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stoessel, A.; Owens, W.B.

    1992-10-01

    The general purpose of the model is to simulate sea ice dynamically as well as thermodynamically. Pure sea-ice models are generally highly dependent on the specified atmospheric and oceanic forcing, especially on the winds and the vertical oceanic heat flux. In order to reduce these dependencies, the sea-ice [SI] model was extended to optionally include a prognostic oceanic mixed layer [OML], a diagnostic atmospheric surface layer [ASL] and/or a diagnostic atmospheric boundary layer [ABL], thus shifting the forcing levels further away from the surface (i.e. from the sea ice) and simultaneously providing a modification of the forcing considering boundary-layer adjustments to the instantaneous sea-ice conditions given by the SI model. A further major extension of the model is the (optional) employment of a prognostic snow layer. The special application characterising the present code was sea-ice simulation in the Southern Ocean, employing a spherical, circumpolar grid with a resolution of 2.5 in latitude and 5 in longitude, extending from 50 S to 80 S and using a daily time step. (orig.)

  4. The effect of sea-ice on the transient atmospheric eddies of the Southern Hemisphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Menendez, C.G. [Centro de Investigaciones del Mar y la Atmosfera/CONICET-UBA, Buenos Aires (Argentina); Serafini, V.; Le Treut, H. [Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique/CNRS, Universite P. et M. Curie, Tour 15-25, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex 05 (France)

    1999-09-01

    Two 10 y simulations with a full seasonal cycle and 96 x 72 x 19 resolution were carried out with a version of the LMD GCM to diagnose the role of sea-ice on the extratropical climatology of the Southern Hemisphere. The control integration used the usual observed sea-ice distribution, while the anomaly simulation imposed a scenario in which all sea-ice was entirely replaced by open ocean. The simulated control climate was compared with available observational-based analyses. Relevant diagnostics of the time mean and indicators of the transient eddy activity have been evaluated for both integrations. The impact was shown throughout the troposphere and was larger and more organised in winter. We found reduced westerly flow and both falls and rises in sea level pressure in the region from which sea-ice was removed. The removal of ice in the Southern Ocean affects the baroclinic structure of the atmosphere. Changes in baroclinicity and eddy activity are consistent with changes in the mean climate. In general, the meridional wind variance, the poleward transient temperature flux and the eddy flux convergence of westerly momentum were weaker over the Southern Ocean. However, a strengthening of the variance downstream of the subtropical jet was found. The position of the main storm track tends to be slightly displaced equatorward in the anomaly case. (orig.) With 15 figs., 53 refs.

  5. On the Predictability of Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, Edward

    We investigate the persistence and predictability of sea ice in numerical models and observations. We first use the 3rd generation Community Climate System Model (CCSM3) General Circulation Model (GCM) to investigate the inherent persistence of sea-ice area and thickness. We find that sea-ice area anomalies have a seasonal decay timescale, exhibiting an initial decorrelation similar to a first order auto-regressive (AR1, or red noise) process. Beyond this initial loss of memory, there is a re-emergence of memory at certain times of the year. There are two distinct modes of re-emergence in the model, one driven by the seasonal coupling of area and thickness anomalies in the summer, the other by the persistence of upper ocean temperature anomalies that originate from ice anomalies in the melt season and then influence ice anomalies in the growth season. Comparison with satellite observations where available indicate these processes appear in nature. We then use the 4th generation CCSM (CCSM4) to investigate the partition of Arctic sea-ice predictability into its initial-value and boundary forced components under present day forcing conditions. We find that initial-value predictability lasts for 1-2 years for sea-ice area, and 3-4 years for sea-ice volume. Forced predictability arises after just 4-5 years for both area and volume. Initial-value predictability of sea-ice area during the summer hinges on the coupling between thickness and area anomalies during that season. We find that the loss of initial-value predictability with time is not uniform --- there is a rapid loss of predictability of sea-ice volume during the late spring early summer associated with snow melt and albedo feedbacks. At the same time, loss of predictability is not uniform across different regions. Given the usefulness of ice thickness as a predictor of summer sea-ice area, we obtain a hindcast of September sea-ice area initializing the GCM on May 1with an estimate of observed sea-ice thickness

  6. New Tools for Sea Ice Data Analysis and Visualization: NSIDC's Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vizcarra, N.; Stroeve, J.; Beam, K.; Beitler, J.; Brandt, M.; Kovarik, J.; Savoie, M. H.; Skaug, M.; Stafford, T.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic sea ice has long been recognized as a sensitive climate indicator and has undergone a dramatic decline over the past thirty years. Antarctic sea ice continues to be an intriguing and active field of research. The National Snow and Ice Data Center's Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis (ASINA) offers researchers and the public a transparent view of sea ice data and analysis. We have released a new set of tools for sea ice analysis and visualization. In addition to Charctic, our interactive sea ice extent graph, the new Sea Ice Data and Analysis Tools page provides access to Arctic and Antarctic sea ice data organized in seven different data workbooks, updated daily or monthly. An interactive tool lets scientists, or the public, quickly compare changes in ice extent and location. Another tool allows users to map trends, anomalies, and means for user-defined time periods. Animations of September Arctic and Antarctic monthly average sea ice extent and concentration may also be accessed from this page. Our tools help the NSIDC scientists monitor and understand sea ice conditions in near real time. They also allow the public to easily interact with and explore sea ice data. Technical innovations in our data center helped NSIDC quickly build these tools and more easily maintain them. The tools were made publicly accessible to meet the desire from the public and members of the media to access the numbers and calculations that power our visualizations and analysis. This poster explores these tools and how other researchers, the media, and the general public are using them.

  7. Influence of the Gulf Stream on the Barents Sea ice retreat and Eurasian coldness during early winter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sato, Kazutoshi; Inoue, Jun; Watanabe, Masahiro

    2014-01-01

    Abnormal sea-ice retreat over the Barents Sea during early winter has been considered a leading driver of recent midlatitude severe winters over Eurasia. However, causal relationships between such retreat and the atmospheric circulation anomalies remains uncertain. Using a reanalysis dataset, we found that poleward shift of a sea surface temperature front over the Gulf Stream likely induces warm southerly advection and consequent sea-ice decline over the Barents Sea sector, and a cold anomaly over Eurasia via planetary waves triggered over the Gulf Stream region. The above mechanism is supported by the steady atmospheric response to the diabatic heating anomalies over the Gulf Stream region obtained with a linear baroclinic model. The remote atmospheric response from the Gulf Stream would be amplified over the Barents Sea region via interacting with sea-ice anomaly, promoting the warm Arctic and cold Eurasian pattern. (letter)

  8. Sea Ice and Hydrographic Variability in the Northwest North Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenty, I. G.; Heimbach, P.; Wunsch, C. I.

    2010-12-01

    Sea ice anomalies in the Northwest North Atlantic's Labrador Sea are of climatic interest because of known and hypothesized feedbacks with hydrographic anomalies, deep convection/mode water formation, and Northern Hemisphere atmospheric patterns. As greenhouse gas concentrations increase, hydrographic anomalies formed in the Arctic Ocean associated with warming will propagate into the Labrador Sea via the Fram Strait/West Greenland Current and the Canadian Archipelago/Baffin Island Current. Therefore, understanding the dynamical response of sea ice in the basin to hydrographic anomalies is essential for the prediction and interpretation of future high-latitude climate change. Historically, efforts to quantify the link between the observed sea ice and hydrographic variability in the region has been limited due to in situ observation paucity and technical challenges associated with synthesizing ocean and sea ice observations with numerical models. To elaborate the relationship between sea ice and ocean variability, we create three one-year (1992-1993, 1996-1997, 2003-2004) three-dimensional time-varying reconstructions of the ocean and sea ice state in Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay. The reconstructions are syntheses of a regional coupled 32 km ocean-sea ice model with a suite of contemporary in situ and satellite hydrographic and ice data using the adjoint method. The model and data are made consistent, in a least-squares sense, by iteratively adjusting several model control variables (e.g., ocean initial and lateral boundary conditions and the atmospheric state) to minimize an uncertainty-weighted model-data misfit cost function. The reconstructions reveal that the ice pack attains a state of quasi-equilibrium in mid-March (the annual sea ice maximum) in which the total ice-covered area reaches a steady state -ice production and dynamical divergence along the coasts balances dynamical convergence and melt along the pack’s seaward edge. Sea ice advected to the

  9. Late Holocene sea ice conditions in Herald Canyon, Chukchi Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce, C.; O'Regan, M.; Rattray, J. E.; Hutchinson, D. K.; Cronin, T. M.; Gemery, L.; Barrientos, N.; Coxall, H.; Smittenberg, R.; Semiletov, I. P.; Jakobsson, M.

    2017-12-01

    Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has been in steady decline in recent decades and, based on satellite data, the retreat is most pronounced in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Historical observations suggest that the recent changes were unprecedented during the last 150 years, but for a longer time perspective, we rely on the geological record. For this study, we analyzed sediment samples from two piston cores from Herald Canyon in the Chukchi Sea, collected during the 2014 SWERUS-C3 Arctic Ocean Expedition. The Herald Canyon is a local depression across the Chukchi Shelf, and acts as one of the main pathways for Pacific Water to the Arctic Ocean after entering through the narrow and shallow Bering Strait. The study site lies at the modern-day seasonal sea ice minimum edge, and is thus an ideal location for the reconstruction of past sea ice variability. Both sediment cores contain late Holocene deposits characterized by high sediment accumulation rates (100-300 cm/kyr). Core 2-PC1 from the shallow canyon flank (57 m water depth) is 8 meter long and extends back to 4200 cal yrs BP, while the upper 3 meters of Core 4-PC1 from the central canyon (120 mwd) cover the last 3000 years. The chronologies of the cores are based on radiocarbon dates and the 3.6 ka Aniakchak CFE II tephra, which is used as an absolute age marker to calculate the marine radiocarbon reservoir age. Analysis of biomarkers for sea ice and surface water productivity indicate stable sea ice conditions throughout the entire late Holocene, ending with an abrupt increase of phytoplankton sterols in the very top of both sediment sequences. The shift is accompanied by a sudden increase in coarse sediments (> 125 µm) and a minor change in δ13Corg. We interpret this transition in the top sediments as a community turnover in primary producers from sea ice to open water biota. Most importantly, our results indicate that the ongoing rapid ice retreat in the Chukchi Sea of recent decades was unprecedented during the

  10. The Sea Ice Index: A Resource for Cryospheric Knowledge Mobilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Windnagel, A. K.; Fetterer, F. M.

    2017-12-01

    The Sea Ice Index is a popular source of information about Arctic and Antarctic sea ice data and trends created at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in 2002. It has been used by cryospheric scientists, cross-discipline scientists, the press, policy makers, and the public for the past 15 years. The Index started as a prototype sea ice extent product in 2001 and was envisioned as a website that would meet a need for readily accessible, easy-to-use information on sea ice trends and anomalies, with products that would assist in monitoring and diagnosing the ice extent minima that were gaining increasing attention in the research community in the late 1990s. The goal was to easily share these valuable data with everyone that needed them, which is the essence of knowledge mobilization. As time has progressed, we have found new ways of disseminating the information carried by the data by providing simple pictures on a website, animating those images, creating Google Earth animations that show the data on a globe, providing simple text files of data values that do not require special software to read, writing a monthly blog about the data that has over 1.7 million readers annually, providing the data to NOAA's Science on Sphere to be seen in museums and classrooms across 23 countries, and creating geo-registered images for use in geospatial software. The Index helps to bridge the gap between sea ice science and the public. Through NSIDC's User Services Office, we receive feedback on the Index and have endeavored to meet the changing needs of our stakeholder communities to best mobilize this knowledge in their direction. We have learned through trial-by-fire the best practices for delivering these data and data services. This tells the tale of managing an unassuming data set as it has journeyed from a simple product consisting of images of sea ice to one that is robust enough to be used in the IPCC Climate Change Report but easy enough to be understood by K-12

  11. Sea-ice dynamics strongly promote Snowball Earth initiation and destabilize tropical sea-ice margins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Voigt

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The Snowball Earth bifurcation, or runaway ice-albedo feedback, is defined for particular boundary conditions by a critical CO2 and a critical sea-ice cover (SI, both of which are essential for evaluating hypotheses related to Neoproterozoic glaciations. Previous work has shown that the Snowball Earth bifurcation, denoted as (CO2, SI*, differs greatly among climate models. Here, we study the effect of bare sea-ice albedo, sea-ice dynamics and ocean heat transport on (CO2, SI* in the atmosphere–ocean general circulation model ECHAM5/MPI-OM with Marinoan (~ 635 Ma continents and solar insolation (94% of modern. In its standard setup, ECHAM5/MPI-OM initiates a~Snowball Earth much more easily than other climate models at (CO2, SI* ≈ (500 ppm, 55%. Replacing the model's standard bare sea-ice albedo of 0.75 by a much lower value of 0.45, we find (CO2, SI* ≈ (204 ppm, 70%. This is consistent with previous work and results from net evaporation and local melting near the sea-ice margin. When we additionally disable sea-ice dynamics, we find that the Snowball Earth bifurcation can be pushed even closer to the equator and occurs at a hundred times lower CO2: (CO2, SI* ≈ (2 ppm, 85%. Therefore, the simulation of sea-ice dynamics in ECHAM5/MPI-OM is a dominant determinant of its high critical CO2 for Snowball initiation relative to other models. Ocean heat transport has no effect on the critical sea-ice cover and only slightly decreases the critical CO2. For disabled sea-ice dynamics, the state with 85% sea-ice cover is stabilized by the Jormungand mechanism and shares characteristics with the Jormungand climate states. However, there is no indication of the Jormungand bifurcation and hysteresis in ECHAM5/MPI-OM. The state with 85% sea-ice cover therefore is a soft Snowball state rather than a true

  12. Changes in the composition and bioavailability of dissolved organic matter during sea ice formation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Linda; Stedmon, Colin A.; Kaartokallio, Hermanni

    2015-01-01

    matter (FDOM) fractions in sea ice, brines (contained in small pores between the ice crystals), and the underlying seawater during a 14 d experiment. Two series of mesocosms were used: one with seawater alone and one with seawater enriched with humic-rich river water. Abiotic processes increased...... processes such as sea ice formation as the source of the significant DOM removal in the Arctic Ocean. We present the results of a mesocosm experiment designed to investigate how sea ice formation affects DOM composition and bioavailability. We measured the change in different fluorescent dissolved organic...... the humic-like FDOM signal in the seawater below the ice during the initial ice formation. Humic-like FDOM fractions with a marine signal were preferentially retained in sea ice (relative to salinity), whereas humic-like FDOM with a terrestrial signal behaved more conservatively with respect to salinity...

  13. ASSESSMENT OF SEA ICE FREEBOARD AND THICKNESS IN MCMURDO SOUND, ANTARCTICA, DERIVED BY GROUND VALIDATED SATELLITE ALTIMETER DATA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Price

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available This investigation employs the use of ICESat to derive freeboard measurements in McMurdo Sound in the western Ross Sea, Antarctica, for the time period 2003-2009. Methods closely follow those previously presented in the literature but are complemented by a good understanding of general sea ice characteristics in the study region from extensive temporal ground investigations but with limited spatial coverage. The aim of remote sensing applications in this area is to expand the good knowledge of sea ice characteristics within these limited areas to the wider McMurdo Sound and western Ross Sea region. The seven year Austral Spring (September, October, and November investigation is presented for sea ice freeboard alone. An interannual comparison of mean freeboard indicates an increase in multiyear sea ice freeboard from 1.08 m in 2003 to 1.15 m in 2009 with positive and negative variation in between. No significant trend was detected for first year sea ice freeboard. Further, an Envisat imagery investigation complements the freeboard assessment. The multiyear sea ice was observed to increase by 254 % of its original 2003 area, as firstyear sea ice persisted through the 2004 melt season into 2005. This maximum coverage then gradually diminished by 2009 to 20 % above the original 2003 value. The mid study period increase is likely attributed to the passage of iceberg B-15A minimising oceanic pressures and preventing sea ice breakout in the region.

  14. Under the sea ice: Exploring the relationship between sea ice and the foraging behaviour of southern elephant seals in East Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labrousse, Sara; Sallée, Jean-Baptiste; Fraser, Alexander D.; Massom, Robert A.; Reid, Phillip; Sumner, Michael; Guinet, Christophe; Harcourt, Robert; McMahon, Clive; Bailleul, Frédéric; Hindell, Mark A.; Charrassin, Jean-Benoit

    2017-08-01

    Investigating ecological relationships between predators and their environment is essential to understand the response of marine ecosystems to climate variability and change. This is particularly true in polar regions, where sea ice (a sensitive climate variable) plays a crucial yet highly dynamic and variable role in how it influences the whole marine ecosystem, from phytoplankton to top predators. For mesopredators such as seals, sea ice both supports a rich (under-ice) food resource, access to which depends on local to regional coverage and conditions. Here, we investigate sex-specific relationships between the foraging strategies of southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) in winter and spatio-temporal variability in sea ice concentration (SIC) and coverage in East Antarctica. We satellite-tracked 46 individuals undertaking post-moult trips in winter from Kerguelen Islands to the peri-Antarctic shelf between 2004 and 2014. These data indicate distinct general patterns of sea ice usage: while females tended to follow the sea ice edge as it extended northward, the males remained on the continental shelf despite increasing sea ice. Seal hunting time, a proxy of foraging activity inferred from the diving behaviour, was longer for females in late autumn in the outer part of the pack ice, ∼150-370 km south of the ice edge. Within persistent regions of compact sea ice, females had a longer foraging activity (i) in the highest sea ice concentration at their position, but (ii) their foraging activity was longer when there were more patches of low concentration sea ice around their position (either in time or in space; 30 days & 50 km). The high spatio-temporal variability of sea ice around female positions is probably a key factor allowing them to exploit these concentrated patches. Despite lack of information on prey availability, females may exploit mesopelagic finfishes and squids that concentrate near the ice-water interface or within the water column (from

  15. Multi-decadal Arctic sea ice roughness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsamados, M.; Stroeve, J.; Kharbouche, S.; Muller, J. P., , Prof; Nolin, A. W.; Petty, A.; Haas, C.; Girard-Ardhuin, F.; Landy, J.

    2017-12-01

    The transformation of Arctic sea ice from mainly perennial, multi-year ice to a seasonal, first-year ice is believed to have been accompanied by a reduction of the roughness of the ice cover surface. This smoothening effect has been shown to (i) modify the momentum and heat transfer between the atmosphere and ocean, (ii) to alter the ice thickness distribution which in turn controls the snow and melt pond repartition over the ice cover, and (iii) to bias airborne and satellite remote sensing measurements that depend on the scattering and reflective characteristics over the sea ice surface topography. We will review existing and novel remote sensing methodologies proposed to estimate sea ice roughness, ranging from airborne LIDAR measurement (ie Operation IceBridge), to backscatter coefficients from scatterometers (ASCAT, QUICKSCAT), to multi angle maging spectroradiometer (MISR), and to laser (Icesat) and radar altimeters (Envisat, Cryosat, Altika, Sentinel-3). We will show that by comparing and cross-calibrating these different products we can offer a consistent multi-mission, multi-decadal view of the declining sea ice roughness. Implications for sea ice physics, climate and remote sensing will also be discussed.

  16. Deglacial and Holocene sea-ice variability north of Iceland and response to ocean circulation changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Xiaotong; Zhao, Meixun; Knudsen, Karen Luise; Sha, Longbin; Eiríksson, Jón; Gudmundsdóttir, Esther; Jiang, Hui; Guo, Zhigang

    2017-08-01

    Sea-ice conditions on the North Icelandic shelf constitute a key component for the study of the climatic gradients between the Arctic and the North Atlantic Oceans at the Polar Front between the cold East Icelandic Current delivering Polar surface water and the relatively warm Irminger Current derived from the North Atlantic Current. The variability of sea ice contributes to heat reduction (albedo) and gas exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere, and further affects the deep-water formation. However, lack of long-term and high-resolution sea-ice records in the region hinders the understanding of palaeoceanographic change mechanisms during the last glacial-interglacial cycle. Here, we present a sea-ice record back to 15 ka (cal. ka BP) based on the sea-ice biomarker IP25, phytoplankton biomarker brassicasterol and terrestrial biomarker long-chain n-alkanols in piston core MD99-2272 from the North Icelandic shelf. During the Bølling/Allerød (14.7-12.9 ka), the North Icelandic shelf was characterized by extensive spring sea-ice cover linked to reduced flow of warm Atlantic Water and dominant Polar water influence, as well as strong meltwater input in the area. This pattern showed an anti-phase relationship with the ice-free/less ice conditions in marginal areas of the eastern Nordic Seas, where the Atlantic Water inflow was strong, and contributed to an enhanced deep-water formation. Prolonged sea-ice cover with occasional occurrence of seasonal sea ice prevailed during the Younger Dryas (12.9-11.7 ka) interrupted by a brief interval of enhanced Irminger Current and deposition of the Vedde Ash, as opposed to abruptly increased sea-ice conditions in the eastern Nordic Seas. The seasonal sea ice decreased gradually from the Younger Dryas to the onset of the Holocene corresponding to increasing insolation. Ice-free conditions and sea surface warming were observed for the Early Holocene, followed by expansion of sea ice during the Mid-Holocene.

  17. Determination of a Critical Sea Ice Thickness Threshold for the Central Arctic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, V.; Frauenfeld, O. W.; Nowotarski, C. J.

    2017-12-01

    While sea ice extent is readily measurable from satellite observations and can be used to assess the overall survivability of the Arctic sea ice pack, determining the spatial variability of sea ice thickness remains a challenge. Turbulent and conductive heat fluxes are extremely sensitive to ice thickness but are dominated by the sensible heat flux, with energy exchange expected to increase with thinner ice cover. Fluxes over open water are strongest and have the greatest influence on the atmosphere, while fluxes over thick sea ice are minimal as heat conduction from the ocean through thick ice cannot reach the atmosphere. We know that turbulent energy fluxes are strongest over open ocean, but is there a "critical thickness of ice" where fluxes are considered non-negligible? Through polar-optimized Weather Research and Forecasting model simulations, this study assesses how the wintertime Arctic surface boundary layer, via sensible heat flux exchange and surface air temperature, responds to sea ice thinning. The region immediately north of Franz Josef Land is characterized by a thickness gradient where sea ice transitions from the thickest multi-year ice to the very thin marginal ice seas. This provides an ideal location to simulate how the diminishing Arctic sea ice interacts with a warming atmosphere. Scenarios include both fixed sea surface temperature domains for idealized thickness variability, and fixed ice fields to detect changes in the ocean-ice-atmosphere energy exchange. Results indicate that a critical thickness threshold exists below 1 meter. The threshold is between 0.4-1 meters thinner than the critical thickness for melt season survival - the difference between first year and multi-year ice. Turbulent heat fluxes and surface air temperature increase as sea ice thickness transitions from perennial ice to seasonal ice. While models predict a sea ice free Arctic at the end of the warm season in future decades, sea ice will continue to transform

  18. Sea ice thermohaline dynamics and biogeochemistry in the Arctic Ocean: Empirical and model results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Pedro; Meyer, Amelie; Olsen, Lasse M.; Kauko, Hanna M.; Assmy, Philipp; Rösel, Anja; Itkin, Polona; Hudson, Stephen R.; Granskog, Mats A.; Gerland, Sebastian; Sundfjord, Arild; Steen, Harald; Hop, Haakon; Cohen, Lana; Peterson, Algot K.; Jeffery, Nicole; Elliott, Scott M.; Hunke, Elizabeth C.; Turner, Adrian K.

    2017-07-01

    Large changes in the sea ice regime of the Arctic Ocean have occurred over the last decades justifying the development of models to forecast sea ice physics and biogeochemistry. The main goal of this study is to evaluate the performance of the Los Alamos Sea Ice Model (CICE) to simulate physical and biogeochemical properties at time scales of a few weeks and to use the model to analyze ice algal bloom dynamics in different types of ice. Ocean and atmospheric forcing data and observations of the evolution of the sea ice properties collected from 18 April to 4 June 2015, during the Norwegian young sea ICE expedition, were used to test the CICE model. Our results show the following: (i) model performance is reasonable for sea ice thickness and bulk salinity; good for vertically resolved temperature, vertically averaged Chl a concentrations, and standing stocks; and poor for vertically resolved Chl a concentrations. (ii) Improving current knowledge about nutrient exchanges, ice algal recruitment, and motion is critical to improve sea ice biogeochemical modeling. (iii) Ice algae may bloom despite some degree of basal melting. (iv) Ice algal motility driven by gradients in limiting factors is a plausible mechanism to explain their vertical distribution. (v) Different ice algal bloom and net primary production (NPP) patterns were identified in the ice types studied, suggesting that ice algal maximal growth rates will increase, while sea ice vertically integrated NPP and biomass will decrease as a result of the predictable increase in the area covered by refrozen leads in the Arctic Ocean.

  19. Correlated declines in Pacific arctic snow and sea ice cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Robert P.; Douglas, David C.; Belchansky, Gennady I.; Drobot, Sheldon

    2005-01-01

    Simulations of future climate suggest that global warming will reduce Arctic snow and ice cover, resulting in decreased surface albedo (reflectivity). Lowering of the surface albedo leads to further warming by increasing solar absorption at the surface. This phenomenon is referred to as “temperature–albedo feedback.” Anticipation of such a feedback is one reason why scientists look to the Arctic for early indications of global warming. Much of the Arctic has warmed significantly. Northern Hemisphere snow cover has decreased, and sea ice has diminished in area and thickness. As reported in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment in 2004, the trends are considered to be outside the range of natural variability, implicating global warming as an underlying cause. Changing climatic conditions in the high northern latitudes have influenced biogeochemical cycles on a broad scale. Warming has already affected the sea ice, the tundra, the plants, the animals, and the indigenous populations that depend on them. Changing annual cycles of snow and sea ice also affect sources and sinks of important greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane), further complicating feedbacks involving the global budgets of these important constituents. For instance, thawing permafrost increases the extent of tundra wetlands and lakes, releasing greater amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Variable sea ice cover may affect the hemispheric carbon budget by altering the ocean–atmosphere exchange of carbon dioxide. There is growing concern that amplification of global warming in the Arctic will have far-reaching effects on lower latitude climate through these feedback mechanisms. Despite the diverse and convincing observational evidence that the Arctic environment is changing, it remains unclear whether these changes are anthropogenically forced or result from natural variations of the climate system. A better understanding of what controls the seasonal distributions of snow and ice

  20. Improved simulation of Antarctic sea ice due to the radiative effects of falling snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, J.-L. F.; Richardson, Mark; Hong, Yulan; Lee, Wei-Liang; Wang, Yi-Hui; Yu, Jia-Yuh; Fetzer, Eric; Stephens, Graeme; Liu, Yinghui

    2017-08-01

    Southern Ocean sea-ice cover exerts critical control on local albedo and Antarctic precipitation, but simulated Antarctic sea-ice concentration commonly disagrees with observations. Here we show that the radiative effects of precipitating ice (falling snow) contribute substantially to this discrepancy. Many models exclude these radiative effects, so they underestimate both shortwave albedo and downward longwave radiation. Using two simulations with the climate model CESM1, we show that including falling-snow radiative effects improves the simulations relative to cloud properties from CloudSat-CALIPSO, radiation from CERES-EBAF and sea-ice concentration from passive microwave sensors. From 50-70°S, the simulated sea-ice-area bias is reduced by 2.12 × 106 km2 (55%) in winter and by 1.17 × 106 km2 (39%) in summer, mainly because increased wintertime longwave heating restricts sea-ice growth and so reduces summer albedo. Improved Antarctic sea-ice simulations will increase confidence in projected Antarctic sea level contributions and changes in global warming driven by long-term changes in Southern Ocean feedbacks.

  1. The role of sea-ice albedo in the climate of slowly rotating aquaplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salameh, Josiane; Popp, Max; Marotzke, Jochem

    2018-04-01

    We investigate the influence of the rotation period (P_{rot}) on the mean climate of an aquaplanet, with a focus on the role of sea-ice albedo. We perform aquaplanet simulations with the atmospheric general circulation model ECHAM6 for various rotation periods from one Earth-day to 365 Earth-days in which case the planet is synchronously rotating. The global-mean surface temperature decreases with increasing P_{rot} and sea ice expands equatorwards. The cooling of the mean climate with increasing P_{rot} is caused partly by the high surface albedo of sea ice on the dayside and partly by the high albedo of the deep convective clouds over the substellar region. The cooling caused by these deep convective clouds is weak for non-synchronous rotations compared to synchronous rotation. Sensitivity simulations with the sea-ice model switched off show that the global-mean surface temperature is up to 27 K higher than in our main simulations with sea ice and thus highlight the large influence of sea ice on the climate. We present the first estimates of the influence of the rotation period on the transition of an Earth-like climate to global glaciation. Our results suggest that global glaciation of planets with synchronous rotation occurs at substantially lower incoming solar irradiation than for planets with slow but non-synchronous rotation.

  2. Sea ice - Multiyear cycles and white ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledley, T. S.

    1985-01-01

    The multiyear thickness cycles represent one of the interesting features of the sea ice studies performed by Semtner (1976) and Washington et al. (1976) with simple thermodynamic models of sea ice. In the present article, a description is given of results which show that the insulating effect of snow on the surface of the sea ice is important in producing these multiyear cycles given the physics included in the model. However, when the formation of white ice is included, the cycles almost disappear. White ice is the ice which forms at the snow-ice interface when the snow layer becomes thick enough to depress the ice below the water level. Water infiltrates the snow by coming through the ice at leads and generally freezes there, forming white ice.

  3. Satellite altimetry in sea ice regions - detecting open water for estimating sea surface heights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Felix L.; Dettmering, Denise; Bosch, Wolfgang

    2017-04-01

    The Greenland Sea and the Farm Strait are transporting sea ice from the central Arctic ocean southwards. They are covered by a dynamic changing sea ice layer with significant influences on the Earth climate system. Between the sea ice there exist various sized open water areas known as leads, straight lined open water areas, and polynyas exhibiting a circular shape. Identifying these leads by satellite altimetry enables the extraction of sea surface height information. Analyzing the radar echoes, also called waveforms, provides information on the surface backscatter characteristics. For example waveforms reflected by calm water have a very narrow and single-peaked shape. Waveforms reflected by sea ice show more variability due to diffuse scattering. Here we analyze altimeter waveforms from different conventional pulse-limited satellite altimeters to separate open water and sea ice waveforms. An unsupervised classification approach employing partitional clustering algorithms such as K-medoids and memory-based classification methods such as K-nearest neighbor is used. The classification is based on six parameters derived from the waveform's shape, for example the maximum power or the peak's width. The open-water detection is quantitatively compared to SAR images processed while accounting for sea ice motion. The classification results are used to derive information about the temporal evolution of sea ice extent and sea surface heights. They allow to provide evidence on climate change relevant influences as for example Arctic sea level rise due to enhanced melting rates of Greenland's glaciers and an increasing fresh water influx into the Arctic ocean. Additionally, the sea ice cover extent analyzed over a long-time period provides an important indicator for a globally changing climate system.

  4. On the influence of model physics on simulations of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Massonnet

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Two hindcast (1983–2007 simulations are performed with the global, ocean-sea ice models NEMO-LIM2 and NEMO-LIM3 driven by atmospheric reanalyses and climatologies. The two simulations differ only in their sea ice component, while all other elements of experimental design (resolution, initial conditions, atmospheric forcing are kept identical. The main differences in the sea ice models lie in the formulation of the subgrid-scale ice thickness distribution, of the thermodynamic processes, of the sea ice salinity and of the sea ice rheology. To assess the differences in model skill over the period of investigation, we develop a set of metrics for both hemispheres, comparing the main sea ice variables (concentration, thickness and drift to available observations and focusing on both mean state and seasonal to interannual variability. Based upon these metrics, we discuss the physical processes potentially responsible for the differences in model skill. In particular, we suggest that (i a detailed representation of the ice thickness distribution increases the seasonal to interannual variability of ice extent, with spectacular improvement for the simulation of the recent observed summer Arctic sea ice retreats, (ii the elastic-viscous-plastic rheology enhances the response of ice to wind stress, compared to the classical viscous-plastic approach, (iii the grid formulation and the air-sea ice drag coefficient affect the simulated ice export through Fram Strait and the ice accumulation along the Canadian Archipelago, and (iv both models show less skill in the Southern Ocean, probably due to the low quality of the reanalyses in this region and to the absence of important small-scale oceanic processes at the models' resolution (~1°.

  5. Modulation of Sea Ice Melt Onset and Retreat in the Laptev Sea by the Timing of Snow Retreat in the West Siberian Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, A. D.; Stroeve, J.; Serreze, M. C.; Rajagopalan, B.; Horvath, S.

    2017-12-01

    As much of the Arctic Ocean transitions to ice-free conditions in summer, efforts have increased to improve seasonal forecasts of not only sea ice extent, but also the timing of melt onset and retreat. This research investigates the potential of regional terrestrial snow retreat in spring as a predictor for subsequent sea ice melt onset and retreat in Arctic seas. One pathway involves earlier snow retreat enhancing atmospheric moisture content, which increases downwelling longwave radiation over sea ice cover downstream. Another pathway involves manipulation of jet stream behavior, which may affect the sea ice pack via both dynamic and thermodynamic processes. Although several possible connections between snow and sea ice regions are identified using a mutual information criterion, the physical mechanisms linking snow retreat and sea ice phenology are most clearly exemplified by variability of snow retreat in the West Siberian Plain impacting melt onset and sea ice retreat in the Laptev Sea. The detrended time series of snow retreat in the West Siberian Plain explains 26% of the detrended variance in Laptev Sea melt onset (29% for sea ice retreat). With modest predictive skill and an average time lag of 53 (88) days between snow retreat and sea ice melt onset (retreat), West Siberian Plains snow retreat is useful for refining seasonal sea ice predictions in the Laptev Sea.

  6. Arctic sea ice melt leads to atmospheric new particle formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dall Osto, M; Beddows, D C S; Tunved, P; Krejci, R; Ström, J; Hansson, H-C; Yoon, Y J; Park, Ki-Tae; Becagli, S; Udisti, R; Onasch, T; O Dowd, C D; Simó, R; Harrison, Roy M

    2017-06-12

    Atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) and growth significantly influences climate by supplying new seeds for cloud condensation and brightness. Currently, there is a lack of understanding of whether and how marine biota emissions affect aerosol-cloud-climate interactions in the Arctic. Here, the aerosol population was categorised via cluster analysis of aerosol size distributions taken at Mt Zeppelin (Svalbard) during a 11 year record. The daily temporal occurrence of NPF events likely caused by nucleation in the polar marine boundary layer was quantified annually as 18%, with a peak of 51% during summer months. Air mass trajectory analysis and atmospheric nitrogen and sulphur tracers link these frequent nucleation events to biogenic precursors released by open water and melting sea ice regions. The occurrence of such events across a full decade was anti-correlated with sea ice extent. New particles originating from open water and open pack ice increased the cloud condensation nuclei concentration background by at least ca. 20%, supporting a marine biosphere-climate link through sea ice melt and low altitude clouds that may have contributed to accelerate Arctic warming. Our results prompt a better representation of biogenic aerosol sources in Arctic climate models.

  7. Physical controls on the storage of methane in land fast sea ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhou, Jiayun; Tison, Jean Louis; Carnat, Gauthier

    2014-01-01

    regulated the storage of CH4 in sea ice: bubble formation and sea ice permeability. Gas bubble formation from solubility changes had favoured the accumulation of CH4 in the ice at the beginning of ice growth. CH4 retention in sea ice was then twice as efficient as that of salt; this also explains...... the overall higher CH4 concentrations in brine than in the under-ice water. As sea ice thickened, gas bubble formation became less efficient so that CH4 was then mainly trapped in the dissolved state. The increase of sea ice permeability during ice melt marks the end of CH4 storage.......We report on methane (CH4) dynamics in landfast sea ice, brine and under-ice seawater at Barrow in 2009. The CH4 concentrations in under-ice water ranged between 25.9 and 116.4 nmol L−1sw, indicating a superaturation of 700 to 3100% relative to the atmosphere. In comparison, the CH4 concentrations...

  8. The relative contributions of biological and abiotic processes to carbon dynamics in subarctic sea ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Søgaard, Dorte Haubjerg; Thomas, David; Rysgaard, Søren

    2013-01-01

    Knowledge on the relative effects of biological activity and precipitation/dissolution of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in influencing the air-ice CO2 exchange in sea-ice-covered season is currently lacking. Furthermore, the spatial and temporal occurrence of CaCO3 and other biogeochemical parameters...... in sea ice are still not well described. Here we investigated autotrophic and heterotrophic activity as well as the precipitation/dissolution of CaCO3 in subarctic sea ice in South West Greenland. Integrated over the entire ice season (71 days), the sea ice was net autotrophic with a net carbon fixation...... and CaCO3 precipitation. The net biological production could only explain 4 % of this sea-ice-driven CO2 uptake. Abiotic processes contributed to an air-sea CO2 uptake of 1.5 mmol m(-2) sea ice day(-1), and dissolution of CaCO3 increased the air-sea CO2 uptake by 36 % compared to a theoretical estimate...

  9. Arctic sea ice decline: Projected changes in timing and extent of sea ice in the Bering and Chukchi Seas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, David C.

    2010-01-01

    The Arctic region is warming faster than most regions of the world due in part to increasing greenhouse gases and positive feedbacks associated with the loss of snow and ice cover. One consequence has been a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice over the past 3 decades?a decline that is projected to continue by state-of-the-art models. Many stakeholders are therefore interested in how global warming may change the timing and extent of sea ice Arctic-wide, and for specific regions. To inform the public and decision makers of anticipated environmental changes, scientists are striving to better understand how sea ice influences ecosystem structure, local weather, and global climate. Here, projected changes in the Bering and Chukchi Seas are examined because sea ice influences the presence of, or accessibility to, a variety of local resources of commercial and cultural value. In this study, 21st century sea ice conditions in the Bering and Chukchi Seas are based on projections by 18 general circulation models (GCMs) prepared for the fourth reporting period by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007. Sea ice projections are analyzed for each of two IPCC greenhouse gas forcing scenarios: the A1B `business as usual? scenario and the A2 scenario that is somewhat more aggressive in its CO2 emissions during the second half of the century. A large spread of uncertainty among projections by all 18 models was constrained by creating model subsets that excluded GCMs that poorly simulated the 1979-2008 satellite record of ice extent and seasonality. At the end of the 21st century (2090-2099), median sea ice projections among all combinations of model ensemble and forcing scenario were qualitatively similar. June is projected to experience the least amount of sea ice loss among all months. For the Chukchi Sea, projections show extensive ice melt during July and ice-free conditions during August, September, and October by the end of the century, with high agreement

  10. Assessment of the sea-ice carbon pump: Insights from a three-dimensional ocean-sea-ice biogeochemical model (NEMO-LIM-PISCES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien Moreau

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The role of sea ice in the carbon cycle is minimally represented in current Earth System Models (ESMs. Among potentially important flaws, mentioned by several authors and generally overlooked during ESM design, is the link between sea-ice growth and melt and oceanic dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC and total alkalinity (TA. Here we investigate whether this link is indeed an important feature of the marine carbon cycle misrepresented in ESMs. We use an ocean general circulation model (NEMO-LIM-PISCES with sea-ice and marine carbon cycle components, forced by atmospheric reanalyses, adding a first-order representation of DIC and TA storage and release in/from sea ice. Our results suggest that DIC rejection during sea-ice growth releases several hundred Tg C yr−1 to the surface ocean, of which < 2% is exported to depth, leading to a notable but weak redistribution of DIC towards deep polar basins. Active carbon processes (mainly CaCO3 precipitation but also ice-atmosphere CO2 fluxes and net community production increasing the TA/DIC ratio in sea-ice modified ocean-atmosphere CO2 fluxes by a few Tg C yr−1 in the sea-ice zone, with specific hemispheric effects: DIC content of the Arctic basin decreased but DIC content of the Southern Ocean increased. For the global ocean, DIC content increased by 4 Tg C yr−1 or 2 Pg C after 500 years of model run. The simulated numbers are generally small compared to the present-day global ocean annual CO2 sink (2.6 ± 0.5 Pg C yr−1. However, sea-ice carbon processes seem important at regional scales as they act significantly on DIC redistribution within and outside polar basins. The efficiency of carbon export to depth depends on the representation of surface-subsurface exchanges and their relationship with sea ice, and could differ substantially if a higher resolution or different ocean model were used.

  11. Do pelagic grazers benefit from sea ice? Insights from the Antarctic sea ice proxy IPSO25

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Katrin; Brown, Thomas A.; Belt, Simon T.; Ireland, Louise C.; Taylor, Kyle W. R.; Thorpe, Sally E.; Ward, Peter; Atkinson, Angus

    2018-04-01

    Sea ice affects primary production in polar regions in multiple ways. It can dampen water column productivity by reducing light or nutrient supply, provide a habitat for ice algae and condition the marginal ice zone (MIZ) for phytoplankton blooms on its seasonal retreat. The relative importance of three different carbon sources (sea ice derived, sea ice conditioned, non-sea-ice associated) for the polar food web is not well understood, partly due to the lack of methods that enable their unambiguous distinction. Here we analysed two highly branched isoprenoid (HBI) biomarkers to trace sea-ice-derived and sea-ice-conditioned carbon in Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) and relate their concentrations to the grazers' body reserves, growth and recruitment. During our sampling in January-February 2003, the proxy for sea ice diatoms (a di-unsaturated HBI termed IPSO25, δ13C = -12.5 ± 3.3 ‰) occurred in open waters of the western Scotia Sea, where seasonal ice retreat was slow. In suspended matter from surface waters, IPSO25 was present at a few stations close to the ice edge, but in krill the marker was widespread. Even at stations that had been ice-free for several weeks, IPSO25 was found in krill stomachs, suggesting that they gathered the ice-derived algae from below the upper mixed layer. Peak abundances of the proxy for MIZ diatoms (a tri-unsaturated HBI termed HBI III, δ13C = -42.2 ± 2.4 ‰) occurred in regions of fast sea ice retreat and persistent salinity-driven stratification in the eastern Scotia Sea. Krill sampled in the area defined by the ice edge bloom likewise contained high amounts of HBI III. As indicators for the grazer's performance we used the mass-length ratio, size of digestive gland and growth rate for krill, and recruitment for the biomass-dominant calanoid copepods Calanoides acutus and Calanus propinquus. These indices consistently point to blooms in the MIZ as an important feeding ground for pelagic grazers. Even though ice

  12. Polar Sea Ice Monitoring Using HY-2A Scatterometer Measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingming Li

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available A sea ice detection algorithm based on Fisher’s linear discriminant analysis is developed to segment sea ice and open water for the Ku-band scatterometer onboard the China’s Hai Yang 2A Satellite (HY-2A/SCAT. Residual classification errors are reduced through image erosion/dilation techniques and sea ice growth/retreat constraint methods. The arctic sea-ice-type classification is estimated via a time-dependent threshold derived from the annual backscatter trends based on previous HY-2A/SCAT derived sea ice extent. The extent and edge of the sea ice obtained in this study is compared with the Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS sea ice concentration data and the Sentinel-1 SAR imagery for verification, respectively. Meanwhile, the classified sea ice type is compared with a multi-sensor sea ice type product based on data from the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT and SSMIS. Results show that HY-2A/SCAT is powerful in providing sea ice extent and type information, while differences in the sensitivities of active/passive products are found. In addition, HY-2A/SCAT derived sea ice products are also proved to be valuable complements for existing polar sea ice data products.

  13. The Secret of the Svalbard Sea Ice Barrier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nghiem, Son V.; Van Woert, Michael L.; Neumann, Gregory

    2004-01-01

    An elongated sea ice feature called the Svalbard sea ice barrier rapidly formed over an area in the Barents Sea to the east of Svalbard posing navigation hazards. The secret of its formation lies in the bottom bathymetry that governs the distribution of cold Arctic waters masses, which impacts sea ice growth on the water surface.

  14. The Satellite Passive-Microwave Record of Sea Ice in the Ross Sea Since Late 1978

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.

    2009-01-01

    Satellites have provided us with a remarkable ability to monitor many aspects of the globe day-in and day-out and sea ice is one of numerous variables that by now have quite substantial satellite records. Passive-microwave data have been particularly valuable in sea ice monitoring, with a record that extends back to August 1987 on daily basis (for most of the period), to November 1970 on a less complete basis (again for most of the period), and to December 1972 on a less complete basis. For the period since November 1970, Ross Sea sea ice imagery is available at spatial resolution of approximately 25 km. This allows good depictions of the seasonal advance and retreat of the ice cover each year, along with its marked interannual variability. The Ross Sea ice extent typically reaches a minimum of approximately 0.7 x 10(exp 6) square kilometers in February, rising to a maximum of approximately 4.0 x 10(exp 6) square kilometers in September, with much variability among years for both those numbers. The Ross Sea images show clearly the day-by-day activity greatly from year to year. Animations of the data help to highlight the dynamic nature of the Ross Sea ice cover. The satellite data also allow calculation of trends in the ice cover over the period of the satellite record. Using linear least-squares fits, the Ross Sea ice extent increased at an average rate of 12,600 plus or minus 1,800 square kilometers per year between November 1978 and December 2007, with every month exhibiting increased ice extent and the rates of increase ranging from a low of 7,500 plus or minus 5,000 square kilometers per year for the February ice extents to a high of 20,300 plus or minus 6,100 kilometers per year for the October ice extents. On a yearly average basis, for 1979-2007 the Ross Sea ice extent increased at a rate of 4.8 plus or minus 1.6 % per decade. Placing the Ross Sea in the context of the Southern Ocean as a whole, over the November 1978-December 2007 period the Ross Sea had

  15. Polar bears and sea ice habitat change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Butterworth, Andy

    2017-01-01

    The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is an obligate apex predator of Arctic sea ice and as such can be affected by climate warming-induced changes in the extent and composition of pack ice and its impacts on their seal prey. Sea ice declines have negatively impacted some polar bear subpopulations through reduced energy input because of loss of hunting habitats, higher energy costs due to greater ice drift, ice fracturing and open water, and ultimately greater challenges to recruit young. Projections made from the output of global climate models suggest that polar bears in peripheral Arctic and sub-Arctic seas will be reduced in numbers or become extirpated by the end of the twenty-first century if the rate of climate warming continues on its present trajectory. The same projections also suggest that polar bears may persist in the high-latitude Arctic where heavy multiyear sea ice that has been typical in that region is being replaced by thinner annual ice. Underlying physical and biological oceanography provides clues as to why polar bear in some regions are negatively impacted, while bears in other regions have shown no apparent changes. However, continued declines in sea ice will eventually challenge the survival of polar bears and efforts to conserve them in all regions of the Arctic.

  16. CICE, The Los Alamos Sea Ice Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2017-05-12

    The Los Alamos sea ice model (CICE) is the result of an effort to develop a computationally efficient sea ice component for a fully coupled atmosphere–land–ocean–ice global climate model. It was originally designed to be compatible with the Parallel Ocean Program (POP), an ocean circulation model developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory for use on massively parallel computers. CICE has several interacting components: a vertical thermodynamic model that computes local growth rates of snow and ice due to vertical conductive, radiative and turbulent fluxes, along with snowfall; an elastic-viscous-plastic model of ice dynamics, which predicts the velocity field of the ice pack based on a model of the material strength of the ice; an incremental remapping transport model that describes horizontal advection of the areal concentration, ice and snow volume and other state variables; and a ridging parameterization that transfers ice among thickness categories based on energetic balances and rates of strain. It also includes a biogeochemical model that describes evolution of the ice ecosystem. The CICE sea ice model is used for climate research as one component of complex global earth system models that include atmosphere, land, ocean and biogeochemistry components. It is also used for operational sea ice forecasting in the polar regions and in numerical weather prediction models.

  17. Sea Ice Summer Camp: Bringing Together Arctic Sea Ice Modelers and Observers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perovich, D. K.; Holland, M. M.

    2016-12-01

    The Arctic sea ice has undergone dramatic change and numerical models project this to continue for the foreseeable future. Understanding the mechanisms behind sea ice loss and its consequences for the larger Arctic and global systems is of critical importance if we are to anticipate and plan for the future. One impediment to progress is a disconnect between the observational and modeling communities. A sea ice summer camp was held in Barrow Alaska from 26 May to 1 June 2016 to overcome this impediment and better integrate the sea ice community. The 25 participants were a mix of modelers and observers from 13 different institutions at career stages from graduate student to senior scientist. The summer camp provided an accelerated program on sea ice observations and models and also fostered future collaborative interdisciplinary activities. Each morning was spent in the classroom with a daily lecture on an aspect of modeling or remote sensing followed by practical exercises. Topics included using models to assess sensitivity, to test hypotheses and to explore sources of uncertainty in future Arctic sea ice loss. The afternoons were spent on the ice making observations. There were four observational activities; albedo observations, ice thickness measurements, ice coring and physical properties, and ice morphology surveys. The last field day consisted of a grand challenge where the group formulated a hypothesis, developed an observational and modeling strategy to test the hypothesis, and then integrated the observations and model results. The impacts of changing sea ice are being felt today in Barrow Alaska. We opened a dialog with Barrow community members to further understand these changes. This included an evening discussion with two Barrow sea ice experts and a community presentation of our work in a public lecture at the Inupiat Heritage Center.

  18. Variability and Anomalous Trends in the Global Sea Ice Cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comiso, Josefino C.

    2012-01-01

    The advent of satellite data came fortuitously at a time when the global sea ice cover has been changing rapidly and new techniques are needed to accurately assess the true state and characteristics of the global sea ice cover. The extent of the sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere has been declining by about -4% per decade for the period 1979 to 2011 but for the period from 1996 to 2010, the rate of decline became even more negative at -8% per decade, indicating an acceleration in the decline. More intriguing is the drastically declining perennial sea ice area, which is the ice that survives the summer melt and observed to be retreating at the rate of -14% per decade during the 1979 to 2012 period. Although a slight recovery occurred in the last three years from an abrupt decline in 2007, the perennial ice extent was almost as low as in 2007 in 2011. The multiyear ice, which is the thick component of the perennial ice and regarded as the mainstay of the Arctic sea ice cover is declining at an even higher rate of -19% per decade. The more rapid decline of the extent of this thicker ice type means that the volume of the ice is also declining making the survival of the Arctic ice in summer highly questionable. The slight recovery in 2008, 2009 and 2010 for the perennial ice in summer was likely associated with an apparent cycle in the time series with a period of about 8 years. Results of analysis of concurrent MODIS and AMSR-E data in summer also provide some evidence of more extensive summer melt and meltponding in 2007 and 2011 than in other years. Meanwhile, the Antarctic sea ice cover, as observed by the same set of satellite data, is showing an unexpected and counter intuitive increase of about 1 % per decade over the same period. Although a strong decline in ice extent is apparent in the Bellingshausen/ Amundsen Seas region, such decline is more than compensated by increases in the extent of the sea ice cover in the Ross Sea region. The results of analysis of

  19. Reviews and syntheses: Ice acidification, the effects of ocean acidification on sea ice microbial communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMinn, Andrew

    2017-09-01

    Sea ice algae, like some coastal and estuarine phytoplankton, are naturally exposed to a wider range of pH and CO2 concentrations than those in open marine seas. While climate change and ocean acidification (OA) will impact pelagic communities, their effects on sea ice microbial communities remain unclear. Sea ice contains several distinct microbial communities, which are exposed to differing environmental conditions depending on their depth within the ice. Bottom communities mostly experience relatively benign bulk ocean properties, while interior brine and surface (infiltration) communities experience much greater extremes. Most OA studies have examined the impacts on single sea ice algae species in culture. Although some studies examined the effects of OA alone, most examined the effects of OA and either light, nutrients or temperature. With few exceptions, increased CO2 concentration caused either no change or an increase in growth and/or photosynthesis. In situ studies on brine and surface algae also demonstrated a wide tolerance to increased and decreased pH and showed increased growth at higher CO2 concentrations. The short time period of most experiments (bacterial communities in general, impacts appear to be minimal. In sea ice also, the few reports available suggest no negative impacts on bacterial growth or community richness. Sea ice ecosystems are ephemeral, melting and re-forming each year. Thus, for some part of each year organisms inhabiting the ice must also survive outside of the ice, either as part of the phytoplankton or as resting spores on the bottom. During these times, they will be exposed to the full range of co-stressors that pelagic organisms experience. Their ability to continue to make a major contribution to sea ice productivity will depend not only on their ability to survive in the ice but also on their ability to survive the increasing seawater temperatures, changing distribution of nutrients and declining pH forecast for the water

  20. Biogeochemical Cycling and Sea Ice Dynamics in the Bering Sea across the Mid-Pleistocene Transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Detlef, H.; Sosdian, S. M.; Belt, S. T.; Smik, L.; Lear, C. H.; Hall, I. R.; Kender, S.; Leng, M. J.; Husum, K.; Cabedo-Sanz, P.

    2017-12-01

    Today the Bering Sea is characterized by high primary productivity (PP) along the eastern shelf, maintained by CO2 and nutrient rich upwelled deep waters and nutrient release during spring sea ice melting. As such, low oxygen concentrations are pervasive in mid-depth waters. Changes in ventilation and export productivity in the past have been shown to impact this oxygen minimum zone. On glacial/interglacial (G/IG) timescales sea ice formation plays a pivotal role on intermediate water ventilation with evidence pointing to the formation of North Pacific Intermediate Water (NPIW) in the Bering Sea during Pleistocene glacial intervals. In addition, sea ice plays a significant role in both long- and short-term climate change via associated feedback mechanisms. Thus, records of sea ice dynamics and biogeochemical cycling in the Bering Sea are necessary to fully understand the interaction between PP, circulation patterns, and past G/IG climates with potential implications for the North Pacific carbon cycle. Here we use a multi-proxy approach to study sea ice dynamics and bottom water oxygenation, across three intervals prior to, across, and after the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT, 1.2-0.7 Ma) from International Ocean Discovery Program Site U1343. The MPT, most likely driven by internal climate mechanisms, is ideal to study changes in sea ice dynamics and sedimentary redox conditions on orbital timescales and to investigate the implications for associated feedback mechanisms. The sea ice record, based on various biomarkers, including IP25, shows substantial increase in sea ice extent across the MPT and the occurrence of a late-glacial/deglacial sea ice spike, with consequences for glacial NPIW formation and land glacier retreat via the temperature-precipitation feedback. U/Mn of foraminiferal authigenic coatings, a novel proxy for bottom water oxygenation, also shows distinct variability on G/IG timescales across the MPT, most likely a result of PP and water mass

  1. Walrus areas of use in the Chukchi Sea during sparse sea ice cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Kochnev, Anatoly A.

    2012-01-01

    The Pacific walrus Odobenus rosmarus divergens feeds on benthic invertebrates on the continental shelf of the Chukchi and Bering Seas and rests on sea ice between foraging trips. With climate warming, ice-free periods in the Chukchi Sea have increased and are projected to increase further in frequency and duration. We radio-tracked walruses to estimate areas of walrus foraging and occupancy in the Chukchi Sea from June to November of 2008 to 2011, years when sea ice was sparse over the continental shelf in comparison to historical records. The earlier and more extensive sea ice retreat in June to September, and delayed freeze-up of sea ice in October to November, created conditions for walruses to arrive earlier and stay later in the Chukchi Sea than in the past. The lack of sea ice over the continental shelf from September to October caused walruses to forage in nearshore areas instead of offshore areas as in the past. Walruses did not frequent the deep waters of the Arctic Basin when sea ice retreated off the shelf. Walruses foraged in most areas they occupied, and areas of concentrated foraging generally corresponded to regions of high benthic biomass, such as in the northeastern (Hanna Shoal) and southwestern Chukchi Sea. A notable exception was the occurrence of concentrated foraging in a nearshore area of northwestern Alaska that is apparently depauperate in walrus prey. With increasing sea ice loss, it is likely that walruses will increase their use of coastal haul-outs and nearshore foraging areas, with consequences to the population that are yet to be understood.

  2. Sea-ice monitoring by ship-based visual observation during JARE ―Simplification of observation method based on the ASPeCt protocol―

    OpenAIRE

    Kay I. Ohshima; Shuki Ushio; Akihisa S. Otsuki

    2006-01-01

    A protocol for ship-based visual observation of sea ice is proposed for the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE). The protocol is a simplified version of the ASPeCt protocol, used for extracting quantitative information on sea ice. The ship-based visual observations started from JARE-46. In the pack ice region, ice thickness, ratio of deformed ice, and total ice volume increased toward the coast. Continuous monitoring of sea ice, particularly its thickness, by ship-based observation ...

  3. Sensitivity of the sea ice concentration over the Kara-Barents Sea in autumn to the winter temperature variability over East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, K. H.; Chang, E. C.

    2017-12-01

    In this study, we performed sensitivity experiments by utilizing the Global/Regional Integrated Model system with different conditions of the sea ice concentration over the Kara-Barents (KB) Sea in autumn, which can affect winter temperature variability over East Asia. Prescribed sea ice conditions are 1) climatological autumn sea ice concentration obtained from 1982 to 2016, 2) reduced autumn sea ice concentration by 50% of the climatology, and 3) increased autumn sea ice concentration by 50% of climatology. Differently prescribed sea ice concentration changes surface albedo, which affects surface heat fluxes and near-surface air temperature. The reduced (increased) sea ice concentration over the KB sea increases (decreases) near-surface air temperature that leads the lower (higher) sea level pressure in autumn. These patterns are maintained from autumn to winter season. Furthermore, it is shown that the different sea ice concentration over the KB sea has remote effects on the sea level pressure patterns over the East Asian region. The lower (higher) sea level pressure over the KB sea by the locally decreased (increased) ice concentration is related to the higher (lower) pressure pattern over the Siberian region, which induces strengthened (weakened) cold advection over the East Asian region. From these sensitivity experiments it is clarified that the decreased (increased) sea ice concentration over the KB sea in autumn can lead the colder (warmer) surface air temperature over East Asia in winter.

  4. Influence of ice thickness and surface properties on light transmission through Arctic sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katlein, Christian; Arndt, Stefanie; Nicolaus, Marcel; Perovich, Donald K; Jakuba, Michael V; Suman, Stefano; Elliott, Stephen; Whitcomb, Louis L; McFarland, Christopher J; Gerdes, Rüdiger; Boetius, Antje; German, Christopher R

    2015-09-01

    The observed changes in physical properties of sea ice such as decreased thickness and increased melt pond cover severely impact the energy budget of Arctic sea ice. Increased light transmission leads to increased deposition of solar energy in the upper ocean and thus plays a crucial role for amount and timing of sea-ice-melt and under-ice primary production. Recent developments in underwater technology provide new opportunities to study light transmission below the largely inaccessible underside of sea ice. We measured spectral under-ice radiance and irradiance using the new Nereid Under-Ice (NUI) underwater robotic vehicle, during a cruise of the R/V Polarstern to 83°N 6°W in the Arctic Ocean in July 2014. NUI is a next generation hybrid remotely operated vehicle (H-ROV) designed for both remotely piloted and autonomous surveys underneath land-fast and moving sea ice. Here we present results from one of the first comprehensive scientific dives of NUI employing its interdisciplinary sensor suite. We combine under-ice optical measurements with three dimensional under-ice topography (multibeam sonar) and aerial images of the surface conditions. We investigate the influence of spatially varying ice-thickness and surface properties on the spatial variability of light transmittance during summer. Our results show that surface properties such as melt ponds dominate the spatial distribution of the under-ice light field on small scales (sea ice-thickness is the most important predictor for light transmission on larger scales. In addition, we propose the use of an algorithm to obtain histograms of light transmission from distributions of sea ice thickness and surface albedo.

  5. Sea-ice transport driving Southern Ocean salinity and its recent trends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haumann, F Alexander; Gruber, Nicolas; Münnich, Matthias; Frenger, Ivy; Kern, Stefan

    2016-09-01

    Recent salinity changes in the Southern Ocean are among the most prominent signals of climate change in the global ocean, yet their underlying causes have not been firmly established. Here we propose that trends in the northward transport of Antarctic sea ice are a major contributor to these changes. Using satellite observations supplemented by sea-ice reconstructions, we estimate that wind-driven northward freshwater transport by sea ice increased by 20 ± 10 per cent between 1982 and 2008. The strongest and most robust increase occurred in the Pacific sector, coinciding with the largest observed salinity changes. We estimate that the additional freshwater for the entire northern sea-ice edge entails a freshening rate of -0.02 ± 0.01 grams per kilogram per decade in the surface and intermediate waters of the open ocean, similar to the observed freshening. The enhanced rejection of salt near the coast of Antarctica associated with stronger sea-ice export counteracts the freshening of both continental shelf and newly formed bottom waters due to increases in glacial meltwater. Although the data sources underlying our results have substantial uncertainties, regional analyses and independent data from an atmospheric reanalysis support our conclusions. Our finding that northward sea-ice freshwater transport is also a key determinant of the mean salinity distribution in the Southern Ocean further underpins the importance of the sea-ice-induced freshwater flux. Through its influence on the density structure of the ocean, this process has critical consequences for the global climate by affecting the exchange of heat, carbon and nutrients between the deep ocean and surface waters.

  6. Modeling the heating and melting of sea ice through light absorption by microalgae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeebe, Richard E.; Eicken, Hajo; Robinson, Dale H.; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter; Dieckmann, Gerhard S.

    1996-01-01

    In sea ice of polar regions, high concentrations of microalgae are observed during the spring. Algal standing stocks may attain peak values of over 300 mg chl a m-2 in the congelation ice habitat. As of yet, the effect of additional heating of sea ice through conversion of solar radiation into heat by algae has not been investigated in detail. Local effects, such as a decrease in albedo, increasing melt rates, and a decrease of the physical strength of ice sheets may occur. To investigate the effects of microalgae on the thermal regime of sea ice, a time-dependent, one-dimensional thermodynamic model of sea ice was coupled to a bio-optical model. A spectral one-stream model was employed to determine spectral attenuation by snow, sea ice, and microalgae. Beer's law was assumed to hold for every wavelength. Energy absorption was obtained by calculating the divergence of irradiance in every layer of the model (Δz = 1 cm). Changes in sea ice temperature profiles were calculated by solving the heat conduction equation with a finite difference scheme. Model results indicate that when algal biomass is concentrated at the bottom of congelation ice, melting of ice resulting from the additional conversion of solar radiation into heat may effectively destroy the algal habitat, thereby releasing algal biomass into the water column. An algal layer located in the top of the ice sheet induced a significant increase in sea ice temperature (ΔT > 0.3 K) for snow depths less than 5 cm and algal standing stocks higher than 150 mg chl a m-2. Furthermore, under these conditions, brine volume increased by 21% from 181 to 219 parts per thousand, which decreased the physical strength of the ice.

  7. Assessment of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice predictability in CMIP5 decadal hindcasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.-Y. Yang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the ability of coupled global climate models to predict decadal variability of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. We analyze decadal hindcasts/predictions of 11 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5 models. Decadal hindcasts exhibit a large multi-model spread in the simulated sea ice extent, with some models deviating significantly from the observations as the predicted ice extent quickly drifts away from the initial constraint. The anomaly correlation analysis between the decadal hindcast and observed sea ice suggests that in the Arctic, for most models, the areas showing significant predictive skill become broader associated with increasing lead times. This area expansion is largely because nearly all the models are capable of predicting the observed decreasing Arctic sea ice cover. Sea ice extent in the North Pacific has better predictive skill than that in the North Atlantic (particularly at a lead time of 3–7 years, but there is a re-emerging predictive skill in the North Atlantic at a lead time of 6–8 years. In contrast to the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice decadal hindcasts do not show broad predictive skill at any timescales, and there is no obvious improvement linking the areal extent of significant predictive skill to lead time increase. This might be because nearly all the models predict a retreating Antarctic sea ice cover, opposite to the observations. For the Arctic, the predictive skill of the multi-model ensemble mean outperforms most models and the persistence prediction at longer timescales, which is not the case for the Antarctic. Overall, for the Arctic, initialized decadal hindcasts show improved predictive skill compared to uninitialized simulations, although this improvement is not present in the Antarctic.

  8. Implications of fractured Arctic perennial ice cover on thermodynamic and dynamic sea ice processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asplin, Matthew G.; Scharien, Randall; Else, Brent; Howell, Stephen; Barber, David G.; Papakyriakou, Tim; Prinsenberg, Simon

    2014-04-01

    Decline of the Arctic summer minimum sea ice extent is characterized by large expanses of open water in the Siberian, Laptev, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas, and introduces large fetch distances in the Arctic Ocean. Long waves can propagate deep into the pack ice, thereby causing flexural swell and failure of the sea ice. This process shifts the floe size diameter distribution smaller, increases floe surface area, and thereby affects sea ice dynamic and thermodynamic processes. The results of Radarsat-2 imagery analysis show that a flexural fracture event which occurred in the Beaufort Sea region on 6 September 2009 affected ˜40,000 km2. Open water fractional area in the area affected initially decreased from 3.7% to 2.7%, but later increased to ˜20% following wind-forced divergence of the ice pack. Energy available for lateral melting was assessed by estimating the change in energy entrainment from longwave and shortwave radiation in the mixed-layer of the ocean following flexural fracture. 11.54 MJ m-2 of additional energy for lateral melting of ice floes was identified in affected areas. The impact of this process in future Arctic sea ice melt seasons was assessed using estimations of earlier occurrences of fracture during the melt season, and is discussed in context with ocean heat fluxes, atmospheric mixing of the ocean mixed layer, and declining sea ice cover. We conclude that this process is an important positive feedback to Arctic sea ice loss, and timing of initiation is critical in how it affects sea ice thermodynamic and dynamic processes.

  9. Observations of Recent Arctic Sea Ice Volume Loss and Its Impact on Ocean-Atmosphere Energy Exchange and Ice Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurtz, N. T.; Markus, T.; Farrell, S. L.; Worthen, D. L.; Boisvert, L. N.

    2011-01-01

    Using recently developed techniques we estimate snow and sea ice thickness distributions for the Arctic basin through the combination of freeboard data from the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) and a snow depth model. These data are used with meteorological data and a thermodynamic sea ice model to calculate ocean-atmosphere heat exchange and ice volume production during the 2003-2008 fall and winter seasons. The calculated heat fluxes and ice growth rates are in agreement with previous observations over multiyear ice. In this study, we calculate heat fluxes and ice growth rates for the full distribution of ice thicknesses covering the Arctic basin and determine the impact of ice thickness change on the calculated values. Thinning of the sea ice is observed which greatly increases the 2005-2007 fall period ocean-atmosphere heat fluxes compared to those observed in 2003. Although there was also a decline in sea ice thickness for the winter periods, the winter time heat flux was found to be less impacted by the observed changes in ice thickness. A large increase in the net Arctic ocean-atmosphere heat output is also observed in the fall periods due to changes in the areal coverage of sea ice. The anomalously low sea ice coverage in 2007 led to a net ocean-atmosphere heat output approximately 3 times greater than was observed in previous years and suggests that sea ice losses are now playing a role in increasing surface air temperatures in the Arctic.

  10. Observational Evidence of a Hemispheric-wide Ice-ocean Albedo Feedback Effect on Antarctic Sea-ice Decay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nihashi, Sohey; Cavalieri, Donald J.

    2007-01-01

    The effect of ice-ocean albedo feedback (a kind of ice-albedo feedback) on sea-ice decay is demonstrated over the Antarctic sea-ice zone from an analysis of satellite-derived hemispheric sea ice concentration and European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ERA-40) atmospheric data for the period 1979-2001. Sea ice concentration in December (time of most active melt) correlates better with the meridional component of the wind-forced ice drift (MID) in November (beginning of the melt season) than the MID in December. This 1 month lagged correlation is observed in most of the Antarctic sea-ice covered ocean. Daily time series of ice , concentration show that the ice concentration anomaly increases toward the time of maximum sea-ice melt. These findings can be explained by the following positive feedback effect: once ice concentration decreases (increases) at the beginning of the melt season, solar heating of the upper ocean through the increased (decreased) open water fraction is enhanced (reduced), leading to (suppressing) a further decrease in ice concentration by the oceanic heat. Results obtained fi-om a simple ice-ocean coupled model also support our interpretation of the observational results. This positive feedback mechanism explains in part the large interannual variability of the sea-ice cover in summer.

  11. The sea ice in Young Sound: Implications for carbon cycling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Glud, Ronnie Nøhr; Rysgaard, Søren; Kühl, Michael

    2007-01-01

    on the available nutrients. The sea-ice algal community adapts effi ciently to the local light environment, and in areas with natural (or man-made) holes and cracks sea-ice algae bloom. However, despite ample nutrients, the overall phototrophic biomass in Young Sound remains very low, with maximum values of c. 15......–30 μg Chl a l-1 sea ice at the underside of the ice and with maximum area integrated values of c. 3 mg Chl a m-2. We speculate that the extreme dynamics in sea-ice appearance, structure and brine percolation, which is driven primarily by large but variable freshwater inputs during snow melt...... the sea-ice matrix were extremely dynamic and strongly regulated by physical processes related to freezing and thawing of sea water rather than biological activity. Enclosure experiments on sea-ice samples performed in June 2002 revealed a high heterotrophic potential causing the sea-ice environment...

  12. Variability and Trends in Sea Ice Extent and Ice Production in the Ross Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comiso, Josefino; Kwok, Ronald; Martin, Seelye; Gordon, Arnold L.

    2011-01-01

    Salt release during sea ice formation in the Ross Sea coastal regions is regarded as a primary forcing for the regional generation of Antarctic Bottom Water. Passive microwave data from November 1978 through 2008 are used to examine the detailed seasonal and interannual characteristics of the sea ice cover of the Ross Sea and the adjacent Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas. For this period the sea ice extent in the Ross Sea shows the greatest increase of all the Antarctic seas. Variability in the ice cover in these regions is linked to changes in the Southern Annular Mode and secondarily to the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave. Over the Ross Sea shelf, analysis of sea ice drift data from 1992 to 2008 yields a positive rate of increase in the net ice export of about 30,000 sq km/yr. For a characteristic ice thickness of 0.6 m, this yields a volume transport of about 20 cu km/yr, which is almost identical, within error bars, to our estimate of the trend in ice production. The increase in brine rejection in the Ross Shelf Polynya associated with the estimated increase with the ice production, however, is not consistent with the reported Ross Sea salinity decrease. The locally generated sea ice enhancement of Ross Sea salinity may be offset by an increase of relatively low salinity of the water advected into the region from the Amundsen Sea, a consequence of increased precipitation and regional glacial ice melt.

  13. Radiative Transfer Modeling to Estimate the Impact of CDOM on Light Absorption within Changing Arctic Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carns, R.; Light, B.; Frey, K. E.

    2016-12-01

    First-year sea ice differs from multi-year sea ice in several ways that can influence its optical properties. It is thinner than multi-year ice, which tends to increase light transmission. Also, first-year ice retains higher brine volumes in comparison to more heavily drained multi-year ice, in isolated pockets and channels. During melt season, patterns of pond formation on first-year sea ice differ from those on multi-year ice. As first-year sea ice comprises an increasingly large fraction of Arctic sea ice, it becomes more important to understand how much sunlight reaches the ecosystems within the ice, and how those changing ecosystems can feed back into the transmission of light. Colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and chlorophyll within the ice can absorb light, heating the ice and reducing transmission to the ocean below. Light also encourages algal growth within the ice while degrading CDOM, creating complex feedbacks. We use radiative transfer models to determine the overall effect of colored dissolved organic matter on the light regime within sea ice, both on the overall amount of energy transmitted and on the spectral distribution of energy. Using models allows us to estimate the impact of varying CDOM levels on a wide range of sea ice types, improving our ability to respond to conditions in a rapidly changing Arctic and predict important phenomena such as algal blooms.

  14. Satellite Remote Sensing of Snow Depth on Antarctic Sea Ice: An Inter-Comparison of Two Empirical Approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Kern

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Snow on Antarctic sea ice plays a key role for sea ice physical processes and complicates retrieval of sea ice thickness using altimetry. Current methods of snow depth retrieval are based on satellite microwave radiometry, which perform best for dry, homogeneous snow packs on level sea ice. We introduce an alternative approach based on in-situ measurements of total (sea ice plus snow freeboard and snow depth, which we use to compute snow depth on sea ice from Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat total freeboard observations. We compare ICESat snow depth for early winter and spring of the years 2004 through 2006 with the Advanced Scanning Microwave Radiometer aboard EOS (AMSR-E snow depth product. We find ICESat snow depths agree more closely with ship-based visual and air-borne snow radar observations than AMSR-E snow depths. We obtain average modal and mean ICESat snow depths, which exceed AMSR-E snow depths by 5–10 cm in winter and 10–15 cm in spring. We observe an increase in ICESat snow depth from winter to spring for most Antarctic regions in accordance with ground-based observations, in contrast to AMSR-E snow depths, which we find to stay constant or to decrease. We suggest satellite laser altimetry as an alternative method to derive snow depth on Antarctic sea ice, which is independent of snow physical properties.

  15. Toward Sub-seasonal to Seasonal Arctic Sea Ice Forecasting Using the Regional Arctic System Model (RASM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamal, S.; Maslowski, W.; Roberts, A.; Osinski, R.; Cassano, J. J.; Seefeldt, M. W.

    2017-12-01

    The Regional Arctic system model has been developed and used to advance the current state of Arctic modeling and increase the skill of sea ice forecast. RASM is a fully coupled, limited-area model that includes the atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, land hydrology and runoff routing components and the flux coupler to exchange information among them. Boundary conditions are derived from NCEP Climate Forecasting System Reanalyses (CFSR) or Era Iterim (ERA-I) for hindcast simulations or from NCEP Coupled Forecast System Model version 2 (CFSv2) for seasonal forecasts. We have used RASM to produce sea ice forecasts for September 2016 and 2017, in contribution to the Sea Ice Outlook (SIO) of the Sea Ice Prediction Network (SIPN). Each year, we produced three SIOs for the September minimum, initialized on June 1, July 1 and August 1. In 2016, predictions used a simple linear regression model to correct for systematic biases and included the mean September sea ice extent, the daily minimum and the week of the minimum. In 2017, we produced a 12-member ensemble on June 1 and July 1, and 28-member ensemble August 1. The predictions of September 2017 included the pan-Arctic and regional Alaskan sea ice extent, daily and monthly mean pan-Arctic maps of sea ice probability, concentration and thickness. No bias correction was applied to the 2017 forecasts. Finally, we will also discuss future plans for RASM forecasts, which include increased resolution for model components, ecosystem predictions with marine biogeochemistry extensions (mBGC) to the ocean and sea ice components, and feasibility of optional boundary conditions using the Navy Global Environmental Model (NAVGEM).

  16. Improvements to TOVS retrievals over sea ice and applications to estimating Arctic energy fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, Jennifer A.

    1994-01-01

    Modeling studies suggest that polar regions play a major role in modulating the Earth's climate and that they may be more sensitive than lower latitudes to climate change. Until recently, however, data from meteorological stations poleward of 70 degs have been sparse, and consequently, our understanding of air-sea-ice interaction processes is relatively poor. Satellite-borne sensors now offer a promising opportunity to observe polar regions and ultimately to improve parameterizations of energy transfer processes in climate models. This study focuses on the application of the TIROS-N operational vertical sounder (TOVS) to sea-ice-covered regions in the nonmelt season. TOVS radiances are processed with the improved initialization inversion ('3I') algorithm, providng estimates of layer-average temperature and moisture, cloud conditions, and surface characteristics at a horizontal resolution of approximately 100 km x 100 km. Although TOVS has flown continuously on polar-orbiting satellites since 1978, its potential has not been realized in high latitudes because the quality of retrievals is often significantly lower over sea ice and snow than over the surfaces. The recent availability of three Arctic data sets has provided an opportunity to validate TOVS retrievals: the first from the Coordinated Eastern Arctic Experiment (CEAREX) in winter 1988/1989, the second from the LeadEx field program in spring 1992, and the third from Russian drifting ice stations. Comparisons with these data reveal deficiencies in TOVS retrievals over sea ice during the cold season; e.g., ice surface temperature is often 5 to 15 K too warm, microwave emissivity is approximately 15% too low at large view angles, clear/cloudy scenes are sometimes misidentified, and low-level inversions are often not captured. In this study, methods to reduce these errors are investigated. Improvements to the ice surface temperature retrieval have reduced rms errors from approximately 7 K to 3 K; correction of

  17. Estimation of Melt Ponds over Arctic Sea Ice using MODIS Surface Reflectance Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Y.; Cheng, X.; Liu, J.

    2017-12-01

    Melt ponds over Arctic sea ice is one of the main factors affecting variability of surface albedo, increasing absorption of solar radiation and further melting of snow and ice. In recent years, a large number of melt ponds have been observed during the melt season in Arctic. Moreover, some studies have suggested that late spring to mid summer melt ponds information promises to improve the prediction skill of seasonal Arctic sea ice minimum. In the study, we extract the melt pond fraction over Arctic sea ice since 2000 using three bands MODIS weekly surface reflectance data by considering the difference of spectral reflectance in ponds, ice and open water. The preliminary comparison shows our derived Arctic-wide melt ponds are in good agreement with that derived by the University of Hamburg, especially at the pond distribution. We analyze seasonal evolution, interannual variability and trend of the melt ponds, as well as the changes of onset and re-freezing. The melt pond fraction shows an asymmetrical growth and decay pattern. The observed melt ponds fraction is almost within 25% in early May and increases rapidly in June and July with a high fraction of more than 40% in the east of Greenland and Beaufort Sea. A significant increasing trend in the melt pond fraction is observed for the period of 2000-2017. The relationship between melt pond fraction and sea ice extent will be also discussed. Key Words: melt ponds, sea ice, Arctic

  18. Warming in the Nordic Seas, North Atlantic storms and thinning Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexeev, Vladimir A.; Walsh, John E.; Ivanov, Vladimir V.; Semenov, Vladimir A.; Smirnov, Alexander V.

    2017-08-01

    Arctic sea ice over the last few decades has experienced a significant decline in coverage both in summer and winter. The currently warming Atlantic Water layer has a pronounced impact on sea ice in the Nordic Seas (including the Barents Sea). More open water combined with the prevailing atmospheric pattern of airflow from the southeast, and persistent North Atlantic storms such as the recent extremely strong Storm Frank in December 2015, lead to increased energy transport to the high Arctic. Each of these storms brings sizeable anomalies of heat to the high Arctic, resulting in significant warming and slowing down of sea ice growth or even melting. Our analysis indicates that the recently observed sea ice decline in the Nordic Seas during the cold season around Svalbard, Franz Joseph Land and Novaya Zemlya, and the associated heat release from open water into the atmosphere, contributed significantly to the increase in the downward longwave radiation throughout the entire Arctic. Added to other changes in the surface energy budget, this increase since the 1960s to the present is estimated to be at least 10 W m-2, which can result in thinner (up to at least 15-20 cm) Arctic ice at the end of the winter. This change in the surface budget is an important contributing factor accelerating the thinning of Arctic sea ice.

  19. Seeking an optimal algorithm for a new satellite-based Sea Ice Drift Climate Data Record : Motivations, plans and initial results from the ESA CCI Sea Ice project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lavergne, T.; Dybkjær, Gorm; Girard-Ardhuin, Fanny

    The Sea Ice Essential Climate Variable (ECV) as defined by GCOS pertains of both sea ice concentration, thickness, and drift. Now in its second phase, the ESA CCI Sea Ice project is conducting the necessary research efforts to address sea ice drift.Accurate estimates of sea ice drift direction an...... in the final product. This contribution reviews the motivation for the work, the plans for sea ice drift algorithms intercomparison and selection, and early results from our activity....

  20. Record low sea-ice concentration in the central Arctic during summer 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jinping; Barber, David; Zhang, Shugang; Yang, Qinghua; Wang, Xiaoyu; Xie, Hongjie

    2018-01-01

    The Arctic sea-ice extent has shown a declining trend over the past 30 years. Ice coverage reached historic minima in 2007 and again in 2012. This trend has recently been assessed to be unique over at least the last 1450 years. In the summer of 2010, a very low sea-ice concentration (SIC) appeared at high Arctic latitudes—even lower than that of surrounding pack ice at lower latitudes. This striking low ice concentration—referred to here as a record low ice concentration in the central Arctic (CARLIC)—is unique in our analysis period of 2003-15, and has not been previously reported in the literature. The CARLIC was not the result of ice melt, because sea ice was still quite thick based on in-situ ice thickness measurements. Instead, divergent ice drift appears to have been responsible for the CARLIC. A high correlation between SIC and wind stress curl suggests that the sea ice drift during the summer of 2010 responded strongly to the regional wind forcing. The drift trajectories of ice buoys exhibited a transpolar drift in the Atlantic sector and an eastward drift in the Pacific sector, which appeared to benefit the CARLIC in 2010. Under these conditions, more solar energy can penetrate into the open water, increasing melt through increased heat flux to the ocean. We speculate that this divergence of sea ice could occur more often in the coming decades, and impact on hemispheric SIC and feed back to the climate.

  1. High contributions of sea ice derived carbon in polar bear (Ursus maritimus tissue.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas A Brown

    Full Text Available Polar bears (Ursus maritimus rely upon Arctic sea ice as a physical habitat. Consequently, conservation assessments of polar bears identify the ongoing reduction in sea ice to represent a significant threat to their survival. However, the additional role of sea ice as a potential, indirect, source of energy to bears has been overlooked. Here we used the highly branched isoprenoid lipid biomarker-based index (H-Print approach in combination with quantitative fatty acid signature analysis to show that sympagic (sea ice-associated, rather than pelagic, carbon contributions dominated the marine component of polar bear diet (72-100%; 99% CI, n = 55, irrespective of differences in diet composition. The lowest mean estimates of sympagic carbon were found in Baffin Bay bears, which were also exposed to the most rapidly increasing open water season. Therefore, our data illustrate that for future Arctic ecosystems that are likely to be characterised by reduced sea ice cover, polar bears will not only be impacted by a change in their physical habitat, but also potentially in the supply of energy to the ecosystems upon which they depend. This data represents the first quantifiable baseline that is critical for the assessment of likely ongoing changes in energy supply to Arctic predators as we move into an increasingly uncertain future for polar ecosystems.

  2. High contributions of sea ice derived carbon in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Thomas A; Galicia, Melissa P; Thiemann, Gregory W; Belt, Simon T; Yurkowski, David J; Dyck, Markus G

    2018-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) rely upon Arctic sea ice as a physical habitat. Consequently, conservation assessments of polar bears identify the ongoing reduction in sea ice to represent a significant threat to their survival. However, the additional role of sea ice as a potential, indirect, source of energy to bears has been overlooked. Here we used the highly branched isoprenoid lipid biomarker-based index (H-Print) approach in combination with quantitative fatty acid signature analysis to show that sympagic (sea ice-associated), rather than pelagic, carbon contributions dominated the marine component of polar bear diet (72-100%; 99% CI, n = 55), irrespective of differences in diet composition. The lowest mean estimates of sympagic carbon were found in Baffin Bay bears, which were also exposed to the most rapidly increasing open water season. Therefore, our data illustrate that for future Arctic ecosystems that are likely to be characterised by reduced sea ice cover, polar bears will not only be impacted by a change in their physical habitat, but also potentially in the supply of energy to the ecosystems upon which they depend. This data represents the first quantifiable baseline that is critical for the assessment of likely ongoing changes in energy supply to Arctic predators as we move into an increasingly uncertain future for polar ecosystems.

  3. Laboratory study on coprecipitation of phosphate with ikaite in sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yu-Bin; Dieckmann, Gerhard S.; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter A.; Nehrke, Gernot

    2014-10-01

    Ikaite (CaCO3·6H2O) has recently been discovered in sea ice, providing first direct evidence of CaCO3 precipitation in sea ice. However, the impact of ikaite precipitation on phosphate (PO4) concentration has not been considered so far. Experiments were set up at pH from 8.5 to 10.0, salinities from 0 to 105, temperatures from -4°C to 0°C, and PO4 concentrations from 5 to 50 µmol kg-1 in artificial sea ice brine so as to understand how ikaite precipitation affects the PO4 concentration in sea ice under different conditions. Our results show that PO4 is coprecipitated with ikaite under all experimental conditions. The amount of PO4 removed by ikaite precipitation increases with increasing pH. Changes in salinity (S ≥ 35) as well as temperature have little impact on PO4 removal by ikaite precipitation. The initial PO4 concentration affects the PO4 coprecipitation. These findings may shed some light on the observed variability of PO4 concentration in sea ice.

  4. Cloud screening and melt water detection over melting sea ice using AATSR/SLSTR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Istomina, Larysa; Heygster, Georg

    2014-05-01

    With the onset of melt in the Arctic Ocean, the fraction of melt water on sea ice, the melt pond fraction, increases. The consequences are: the reduced albedo of sea ice, increased transmittance of sea ice and affected heat balance of the system with more heat passing through the ice into the ocean, which facilitates further melting. The onset of melt, duration of melt season and melt pond fraction are good indicators of the climate state of the Arctic and its change. In the absence of reliable sea ice thickness retrievals in summer, melt pond fraction retrieval from satellite is in demand as input for GCM as an indicator of melt state of the sea ice. The retrieval of melt pond fraction with a moderate resolution radiometer as AATSR is, however, a non-trivial task due to a variety of subpixel surface types with very different optical properties, which give non-unique combinations if mixed. In this work this has been solved by employing additional information on the surface and air temperature of the pixel. In the current work, a concept of melt pond detection on sea ice is presented. The basis of the retrieval is the sensitivity of AATSR reflectance channels 550nm and 860nm to the amount of melt water on sea ice. The retrieval features extensive usage of a database of in situ surface albedo spectra. A tree of decisions is employed to select the feasible family of in situ spectra for the retrieval, depending on the melt stage of the surface. Reanalysis air temperature at the surface and brightness temperature measured by the satellite sensor are analyzed in order to evaluate the melting status of the surface. Case studies for FYI and MYI show plausible retrieved melt pond fractions, characteristic for both of the ice types. The developed retrieval can be used to process the historical AATSR (2002-2012) dataset, as well as for the SLSTR sensor onboard the future Sentinel-3 mission (scheduled for launch in 2015), to keep the continuity and obtain longer time sequence

  5. Late Quaternary Variability of Arctic Sea Ice: Insights From Biomarker Proxy Records and Model Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, R. H.; Fahl, K.; Gierz, P.; Niessen, F.; Lohmann, G.

    2017-12-01

    Over the last about four decades, coinciding with global warming and atmospheric CO2increase, the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice has decreased dramatically, a decrease much more rapid than predicted by climate models. The driving forces of this change are still not fully understood. In this context, detailed paleoclimatic records going back beyond the timescale of direct observations, i.e., high-resolution Holocene records but also records representing more distant warm periods, may help to to distinguish and quantify more precisely the natural and anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing of global climate change and related sea ice decrease. Here, we concentrate on sea ice biomarker records representing the penultimate glacial/last interglacial (MIS 6/MIS 5e) and the Holocene time intervals. Our proxy records are compared with climate model simulations using a coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model (AOGCM). Based on our data, polynya-type sea ice conditions probably occurred off the major ice sheets along the northern Barents and East Siberian continental margins during late MIS 6. Furthermore, we demonstrate that even during MIS 5e, i.e., a time interval when the high latitudes have been significantly warmer than today, sea ice existed in the central Arctic Ocean during summer, whereas sea ice was significantly reduced along the Barents Sea continental margin influenced by Atlantic Water inflow. Assuming a closed Bering Strait (no Pacific Water inflow) during early MIS 5, model simulations point to a significantly reduced sea ice cover in the central Arctic Ocean, a scenario that is however not supported by the proxy record and thus seems to be less realistic. Our Holocene biomarker proxy records from the Chukchi Sea indicate that main factors controlling the millennial Holocene variability in sea ice are probably changes in surface water and heat flow from the Pacific into the Arctic Ocean as well as the long-term decrease in summer insolation

  6. The color of melt ponds on Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Peng; Leppäranta, Matti; Cheng, Bin; Li, Zhijun; Istomina, Larysa; Heygster, Georg

    2018-04-01

    Pond color, which creates the visual appearance of melt ponds on Arctic sea ice in summer, is quantitatively investigated using a two-stream radiative transfer model for ponded sea ice. The upwelling irradiance from the pond surface is determined and then its spectrum is transformed into RGB (red, green, blue) color space using a colorimetric method. The dependence of pond color on various factors such as water and ice properties and incident solar radiation is investigated. The results reveal that increasing underlying ice thickness Hi enhances both the green and blue intensities of pond color, whereas the red intensity is mostly sensitive to Hi for thin ice (Hi 1.5 m), similar to the behavior of melt-pond albedo. The distribution of the incident solar spectrum F0 with wavelength affects the pond color rather than its intensity. The pond color changes from dark blue to brighter blue with increasing scattering in ice, and the influence of absorption in ice on pond color is limited. The pond color reproduced by the model agrees with field observations for Arctic sea ice in summer, which supports the validity of this study. More importantly, the pond color has been confirmed to contain information about meltwater and underlying ice, and therefore it can be used as an index to retrieve Hi and Hp. Retrievals of Hi for thin ice (Hi measurements than retrievals for thick ice, but those of Hp are not good. The analysis of pond color is a new potential method to obtain thin ice thickness in summer, although more validation data and improvements to the radiative transfer model will be needed in future.

  7. Does Arctic sea ice reduction foster shelf-basin exchange?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, Vladimir; Watanabe, Eiji

    2013-12-01

    The recent shift in Arctic ice conditions from prevailing multi-year ice to first-year ice will presumably intensify fall-winter sea ice freezing and the associated salt flux to the underlying water column. Here, we conduct a dual modeling study whose results suggest that the predicted catastrophic consequences for the global thermohaline circulation (THC), as a result of the disappearance of Arctic sea ice, may not necessarily occur. In a warmer climate, the substantial fraction of dense water feeding the Greenland-Scotland overflow may form on Arctic shelves and cascade to the deep basin, thus replenishing dense water, which currently forms through open ocean convection in the sub-Arctic seas. We have used a simplified model for estimating how increased ice production influences shelf-basin exchange associated with dense water cascading. We have carried out case studies in two regions of the Arctic Ocean where cascading was observed in the past. The baseline range of buoyancy-forcing derived from the columnar ice formation was calculated as part of a 30-year experiment of the pan-Arctic coupled ice-ocean general circulation model (GCM). The GCM results indicate that mechanical sea ice divergence associated with lateral advection accounts for a significant part of the interannual variations in sea ice thermal production in the coastal polynya regions. This forcing was then rectified by taking into account sub-grid processes and used in a regional model with analytically prescribed bottom topography and vertical stratification in order to examine specific cascading conditions in the Pacific and Atlantic sectors of the Arctic Ocean. Our results demonstrate that the consequences of enhanced ice formation depend on geographical location and shelf-basin bathymetry. In the Pacific sector, strong density stratification in slope waters impedes noticeable deepening of shelf-origin water, even for the strongest forcing applied. In the Atlantic sector, a 1.5x increase of

  8. Critical Mechanisms for the Formation of Extreme Arctic Sea-Ice Extent in the Summers of 2007 and 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dong, Xiquan [Beijing Normal Univ. (China); Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States); Zib, Benjamin J. [Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States); Xi, Baike [Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States); Stanfield, Ryan [Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States); Deng, Yi [Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States); Zhang, Xiangdong [Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK (United States); Lin, B. [NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA (United States); Long, Charles N. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2013-08-29

    A warming Arctic climate is undergoing significant e 21 nvironmental change, most evidenced by the reduction of Arctic sea-ice extent during the summer. In this study, we examine two extreme anomalies of September sea-ice extent in 2007 and 1996, and investigate the impacts of cloud fraction (CF), atmospheric precipitable water vapor (PWV), downwelling longwave flux (DLF), surface air temperature (SAT), pressure and winds on the sea-ice variation in 2007 and 1996 using both satellite-derived sea-ice products and MERRA reanalysis. The area of the Laptev, East Siberian and West Chukchi seas (70-90oN, 90-180oE) has experienced the largest variation in sea-ice extent from year-to-year and defined here as the Area Of Focus (AOF). The record low September sea-ice extent in 2007 was associated with positive anomalies 30 of CF, PWV, DLF, and SAT over the AOF. Persistent anti-cyclone positioned over the Beaufort Sea coupled with low pressure over Eurasia induced easterly zonal and southerly meridional winds. In contrast, negative CF, PWV, DLF and SAT anomalies, as well as opposite wind patterns to those in 2007, characterized the 1996 high September sea-ice extent. Through this study, we hypothesize the following positive feedbacks of clouds, water vapor, radiation and atmospheric variables on the sea-ice retreat during the summer 2007. The record low sea-ice extent during the summer 2007 is initially triggered by the atmospheric circulation anomaly. The southerly winds across the Chukchi and East Siberian seas transport warm, moist air from the north Pacific, which is not only enhancing sea-ice melt across the AOF, but also increasing clouds. The positive cloud feedback results in higher SAT and more sea-ice melt. Therefore, 40 more water vapor could be evaporated from open seas and higher SAT to form more clouds, which will enhance positive cloud feedback. This enhanced positive cloud feedback will then further increase SAT and accelerate the sea-ice retreat during the

  9. Rising methane emissions from northern wetlands associated with sea ice decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parmentier, Frans-Jan W.; Zhang, Wenxin; Zhu, Xudong; van Huissteden, Jacobus; Hayes, Daniel J.; Zhuang, Qianlai; Christensen, Torben R.; McGuire, A. David

    2015-01-01

    The Arctic is rapidly transitioning toward a seasonal sea ice-free state, perhaps one of the most apparent examples of climate change in the world. This dramatic change has numerous consequences, including a large increase in air temperatures, which in turn may affect terrestrial methane emissions. Nonetheless, terrestrial and marine environments are seldom jointly analyzed. By comparing satellite observations of Arctic sea ice concentrations to methane emissions simulated by three process-based biogeochemical models, this study shows that rising wetland methane emissions are associated with sea ice retreat. Our analyses indicate that simulated high-latitude emissions for 2005–2010 were, on average, 1.7 Tg CH4 yr−1 higher compared to 1981–1990 due to a sea ice-induced, autumn-focused, warming. Since these results suggest a continued rise in methane emissions with future sea ice decline, observation programs need to include measurements during the autumn to further investigate the impact of this spatial connection on terrestrial methane emissions.

  10. A New Remotely Operated Sensor Platform for Interdisciplinary Observations under Sea Ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Katlein

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Observation of the climate and ecosystem of ice covered polar seas is a timely task for the scientific community. The goal is to assess the drastic and imminent changes of the polar sea ice cover induced by climate change. Retreating and thinning sea ice affects the planets energy budget, atmospheric, and oceanic circulation patterns as well as the ecosystem associated with this unique habitat. To increase the observational capabilities of sea ice scientists, we equipped a remotely operated vehicle (ROV as sensor platform for interdisciplinary research at the ice water interface. Here, we present the technical details and operation scheme of the new vehicle and provide data examples from a first campaign in the Arctic in autumn 2016 to demonstrate the vehicle's capabilities. The vehicle is designed for efficient operations in the harsh polar conditions. Redundant modular design allows operation by three scientists simultaneously operating a wide variety of sensors. Sensors from physical, chemical, and biological oceanography are combined with optical and acoustic sea ice sensors to provide a comprehensive picture of the underside of sea ice. The sensor suite provides comprehensive capabilities and can be further extended as additional ports for power and communication are available. The vehicle provides full six degrees of freedom in navigation, enabling intervention, and manipulation skills despite its simple one function manipulator arm.

  11. Ikaite crystal distribution in winter sea ice and implications for CO2 system dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rysgaard, S.; Søgaard, D. H.; Cooper, M.; Pućko, M.; Lennert, K.; Papakyriakou, T. N.; Wang, F.; Geilfus, N. X.; Glud, R. N.; Ehn, J.; McGinnis, D. F.; Attard, K.; Sievers, J.; Deming, J. W.; Barber, D.

    2013-04-01

    The precipitation of ikaite (CaCO3 ⋅ 6H2O) in polar sea ice is critical to the efficiency of the sea ice-driven carbon pump and potentially important to the global carbon cycle, yet the spatial and temporal occurrence of ikaite within the ice is poorly known. We report unique observations of ikaite in unmelted ice and vertical profiles of ikaite abundance and concentration in sea ice for the crucial season of winter. Ice was examined from two locations: a 1 m thick land-fast ice site and a 0.3 m thick polynya site, both in the Young Sound area (74° N, 20° W) of NE Greenland. Ikaite crystals, ranging in size from a few μm to 700 μm, were observed to concentrate in the interstices between the ice platelets in both granular and columnar sea ice. In vertical sea ice profiles from both locations, ikaite concentration determined from image analysis, decreased with depth from surface-ice values of 700-900 μmol kg-1 ice (~25 × 106 crystals kg-1) to values of 100-200 μmol kg-1 ice (1-7 × 106 crystals kg-1) near the sea ice-water interface, all of which are much higher (4-10 times) than those reported in the few previous studies. Direct measurements of total alkalinity (TA) in surface layers fell within the same range as ikaite concentration, whereas TA concentrations in the lower half of the sea ice were twice as high. This depth-related discrepancy suggests interior ice processes where ikaite crystals form in surface sea ice layers and partly dissolve in layers below. Melting of sea ice and dissolution of observed concentrations of ikaite would result in meltwater with a pCO2 of <15 μatm. This value is far below atmospheric values of 390 μatm and surface water concentrations of 315 μatm. Hence, the meltwater increases the potential for seawater uptake of CO2.

  12. Atmospheric Influences on the Anomalous 2016 Antarctic Sea Ice Decay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raphael, M. N.; Schlosser, E.; Haumann, A.

    2017-12-01

    Over the past three decades, a small but significant increase in sea ice extent (SIE) has been observed in the Antarctic. However, in 2016 there was a surprisingly early onset of the melt season. The maximum Antarctic SIE was reached in August rather than end of September, and was followed by a rapid decrease. The decline of the sea ice area (SIA) started even earlier, in July. The retreat of the ice was particularly large in November where Antarctic SIE exhibited a negative anomaly (compared to the 1981-2010 average) of almost 2 Mio. km2, which, combined with reduced Arctic SIE, led to a distinct minimum in global SIE. And, satellite observations show that from November 2016 to February 2017, the daily Antarctic SIE has been at record low levels. We use sea level pressure and geopotential height data from the ECMWF- Interim reanalysis, in conjunction with sea ice data obtained from the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC), to investigate possible atmospheric influences on the observed phenomena. Indications are that both the onset of the melt in July and the rapid decrease in SIA and SIE in November were triggered by atmospheric flow patterns related to a positive Zonal Wave 3 index, i.e. synoptic situations leading to strong meridional flow. Additionally the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) index reached its second lowest November value since the beginning of the satellite observations. It is likely that the SIE decrease was preconditioned by SIA decrease. Positive feedback effects led to accelerated melt and consequently to the extraordinary low November SIE.

  13. Unexpectedly high ultrafine aerosol concentrations above East Antarctic sea ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. S. Humphries

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Better characterisation of aerosol processes in pristine, natural environments, such as Antarctica, have recently been shown to lead to the largest reduction in uncertainties in our understanding of radiative forcing. Our understanding of aerosols in the Antarctic region is currently based on measurements that are often limited to boundary layer air masses at spatially sparse coastal and continental research stations, with only a handful of studies in the vast sea-ice region. In this paper, the first observational study of sub-micron aerosols in the East Antarctic sea ice region is presented. Measurements were conducted aboard the icebreaker Aurora Australis in spring 2012 and found that boundary layer condensation nuclei (CN3 concentrations exhibited a five-fold increase moving across the polar front, with mean polar cell concentrations of 1130 cm−3 – higher than any observed elsewhere in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region. The absence of evidence for aerosol growth suggested that nucleation was unlikely to be local. Air parcel trajectories indicated significant influence from the free troposphere above the Antarctic continent, implicating this as the likely nucleation region for surface aerosol, a similar conclusion to previous Antarctic aerosol studies. The highest aerosol concentrations were found to correlate with low-pressure systems, suggesting that the passage of cyclones provided an accelerated pathway, delivering air masses quickly from the free troposphere to the surface. After descent from the Antarctic free troposphere, trajectories suggest that sea-ice boundary layer air masses travelled equatorward into the low-albedo Southern Ocean region, transporting with them emissions and these aerosol nuclei which, after growth, may potentially impact on the region's radiative balance. The high aerosol concentrations and their transport pathways described here, could help reduce the discrepancy currently present between

  14. Unexpectedly high ultrafine aerosol concentrations above East Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, R. S.; Klekociuk, A. R.; Schofield, R.; Keywood, M.; Ward, J.; Wilson, S. R.

    2016-02-01

    Better characterisation of aerosol processes in pristine, natural environments, such as Antarctica, have recently been shown to lead to the largest reduction in uncertainties in our understanding of radiative forcing. Our understanding of aerosols in the Antarctic region is currently based on measurements that are often limited to boundary layer air masses at spatially sparse coastal and continental research stations, with only a handful of studies in the vast sea-ice region. In this paper, the first observational study of sub-micron aerosols in the East Antarctic sea ice region is presented. Measurements were conducted aboard the icebreaker Aurora Australis in spring 2012 and found that boundary layer condensation nuclei (CN3) concentrations exhibited a five-fold increase moving across the polar front, with mean polar cell concentrations of 1130 cm-3 - higher than any observed elsewhere in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region. The absence of evidence for aerosol growth suggested that nucleation was unlikely to be local. Air parcel trajectories indicated significant influence from the free troposphere above the Antarctic continent, implicating this as the likely nucleation region for surface aerosol, a similar conclusion to previous Antarctic aerosol studies. The highest aerosol concentrations were found to correlate with low-pressure systems, suggesting that the passage of cyclones provided an accelerated pathway, delivering air masses quickly from the free troposphere to the surface. After descent from the Antarctic free troposphere, trajectories suggest that sea-ice boundary layer air masses travelled equatorward into the low-albedo Southern Ocean region, transporting with them emissions and these aerosol nuclei which, after growth, may potentially impact on the region's radiative balance. The high aerosol concentrations and their transport pathways described here, could help reduce the discrepancy currently present between simulations and observations of

  15. Atmospheric forcing of sea ice leads in the Beaufort Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, B. J.; Hutchings, J.; Mahoney, A. R.; Shapiro, L. H.

    2016-12-01

    Leads in sea ice play an important role in the polar marine environment where they allow heat and moisture transfer between the oceans and atmosphere and act as travel pathways for both marine mammals and ships. Examining AVHRR thermal imagery of the Beaufort Sea, collected between 1994 and 2010, sea ice leads appear in repeating patterns and locations (Eicken et al 2005). The leads, resolved by AVHRR, are at least 250m wide (Mahoney et al 2012), thus the patterns described are for lead systems that extend up to hundreds of kilometers across the Beaufort Sea. We describe how these patterns are associated with the location of weather systems relative to the coastline. Mean sea level pressure and 10m wind fields from ECMWF ERA-Interim reanalysis are used to identify if particular lead patterns can be uniquely forecast based on the location of weather systems. Ice drift data from the NSIDC's Polar Pathfinder Daily 25km EASE-Grid Sea Ice Motion Vectors indicates the role shear along leads has on the motion of ice in the Beaufort Gyre. Lead formation is driven by 4 main factors: (i) coastal features such as promontories and islands influence the origin of leads by concentrating stresses within the ice pack; (ii) direction of the wind forcing on the ice pack determines the type of fracture, (iii) the location of the anticyclone (or cyclone) center determines the length of the fracture for certain patterns; and (iv) duration of weather conditions affects the width of the ice fracture zones. Movement of the ice pack on the leeward side of leads originating at promontories and islands increases, creating shear zones that control ice transport along the Alaska coast in winter. . Understanding how atmospheric conditions influence the large-scale motion of the ice pack is needed to design models that predict variability of the gyre and export of multi-year ice to lower latitudes.

  16. Periodic fluctuations in deep water formation due to sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, R.

    2012-12-01

    During the last ice age, several abrupt warming events took place, known as Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) events. Their effects were felt globally, although the North Atlantic experienced the largest temperature increase. The leading hypothesis to explain their occurrence postulates that the warming was caused by abrupt disruptions of the North Atlantic Current due to meltwater discharge from destabilized ice sheets (Heinrich events). However, the number of warming events outnumber the those of ice-sheet collapse. Thus, the majority of D-O events are not attributed to surface freshwater anomalies, and the underlying mechanism behind their occurrence remain unexplained. Using a simple dynamical model of sea ice and an overturning circulation, I show the existence of self-sustained relaxation oscillations in the overturning circulation. The insulating effect of sea ice is shown to paradoxically lead to a net loss of heat from the top layer of the polar ocean when sea ice retreats. Repeated heat loss results in a denser top layer and a destabilized water column, which triggers convection. The convective state pulls the system out of its preferred mode of circulation, setting up relaxation oscillations. The period of oscillations in this case is linked to the geometry of the ocean basin, if solar forcing is assumed to remain constant. If appropriate glacial freshwater forcing is applied to the model, a pattern of oscillation is produced that bears remarkable similarity to the observed fluctuations in North Atlantic climate between 50,000 and 30,000 years before present.; Comparison of NGRIP δ 18-O (proxy for near surface air temperature) between 50,000 and 30,000 years before present, showing Bond cycles (left) with the model output when forced with appropriate glacial freshwater forcing (right).

  17. Icebergs, sea ice, blue carbon and Antarctic climate feedbacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, David K A; Fleming, Andrew; Sands, Chester J; Quartino, Maria Liliana; Deregibus, Dolores

    2018-06-28

    Sea ice, including icebergs, has a complex relationship with the carbon held within animals (blue carbon) in the polar regions. Sea-ice losses around West Antarctica's continental shelf generate longer phytoplankton blooms but also make it a hotspot for coastal iceberg disturbance. This matters because in polar regions ice scour limits blue carbon storage ecosystem services, which work as a powerful negative feedback on climate change (less sea ice increases phytoplankton blooms, benthic growth, seabed carbon and sequestration). This resets benthic biota succession (maintaining regional biodiversity) and also fertilizes the ocean with nutrients, generating phytoplankton blooms, which cascade carbon capture into seabed storage and burial by benthos. Small icebergs scour coastal shallows, whereas giant icebergs ground deeper, offshore. Significant benthic communities establish where ice shelves have disintegrated (giant icebergs calving), and rapidly grow to accumulate blue carbon storage. When 5000 km 2 giant icebergs calve, we estimate that they generate approximately 10 6 tonnes of immobilized zoobenthic carbon per year (t C yr -1 ). However, their collisions with the seabed crush and recycle vast benthic communities, costing an estimated 4 × 10 4  t C yr -1 We calculate that giant iceberg formation (ice shelf disintegration) has a net potential of approximately 10 6  t C yr -1 sequestration benefits as well as more widely known negative impacts.This article is part of the theme issue 'The marine system of the West Antarctic Peninsula: status and strategy for progress in a region of rapid change'. © 2018 The Authors.

  18. Global warming related transient albedo feedback in the Arctic and its relation to the seasonality of sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andry, Olivier; Bintanja, Richard; Hazeleger, Wilco

    2015-04-01

    The Arctic is warming two to three times faster than the global average. Arctic sea ice cover is very sensitive to this warming and has reached historic minima in late summer in recent years (i.e. 2007, 2012). Considering that the Arctic Ocean is mainly ice-covered and that the albedo of sea ice is very high compared to that of open water, the change in sea ice cover is very likely to have a strong impact on the local surface albedo feedback. Here we quantify the temporal changes in surface albedo feedback in response to global warming. Usually feedbacks are evaluated as being representative and constant for long time periods, but we show here that the strength of climate feedbacks in fact varies strongly with time. For instance, time series of the amplitude of the surface albedo feedback, derived from future climate simulations (CIMP5, RCP8.5 up to year 2300) using a kernel method, peaks around the year 2100. This maximum is likely caused by an increased seasonality in sea-ice cover that is inherently associated with sea ice retreat. We demonstrate that the Arctic average surface albedo has a strong seasonal signature with a maximum in spring and a minimum in late summer/autumn. In winter when incoming solar radiation is minimal the surface albedo doesn't have an important effect on the energy balance of the climate system. The annual mean surface albedo is thus determined by the seasonality of both downwelling shortwave radiation and sea ice cover. As sea ice cover reduces the seasonal signature is modified, the transient part from maximum sea ice cover to its minimum is shortened and sharpened. The sea ice cover is reduced when downwelling shortwave radiation is maximum and thus the annual surface albedo is drastically smaller. Consequently the change in annual surface albedo with time will become larger and so will the surface albedo feedback. We conclude that a stronger seasonality in sea ice leads to a stronger surface albedo feedback, which accelerates

  19. Multiple climate and sea ice states on a coupled Aquaplanet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, B.; Ferreira, D.; Marshall, J.

    2010-12-01

    A fully coupled atmosphere-ocean-sea ice GCM is used to explore the climates of Earth-like planets with no continents and idealized ocean basin geometries. We find three qualitatively different stable equilibria under identical external forcing: an equable ice-free climate, a cold climate with ice caps extending into mid-latitudes, and a completely ice-covered "Snowball" state. These multiple states persist for millennia with no drift despite a full seasonal cycle and vigorous internal variability of the system on all time scales. The behavior of the coupled system is rationalized through an extension of the Budyko-Sellers model to include explicit ocean heat transport (OHT), and the insulation of the ice-covered sea surface. Sensitivity tests are also conducted with a slab ocean GCM with prescribed OHT. From these we conclude that albedo feedback and ocean circulation both play essential roles in the maintenance of the multiple states. OHT in the coupled system is dominated by a wind-driven subtropical cell carrying between 2 and 3 PW of thermal energy out of the deep tropics, most of which converges in the subtropics to lower mid-latitudes. This convergence pattern (similar to modern Earth) is robust to changes in the ocean basin geometry, and is directly responsible for the stabilization of the large ice cap. OHT also plays an essential but indirect role in the maintenance of the ice-free pole in the warm states, by driving an enhanced poleward atmospheric latent heat flux. The hysteresis loop for transitions between the warm and large ice cap states spans a much smaller range of parameter space (e.g. ±1.8% variations in solar constant) than the transitions in and out of the Snowball. Three qualitatively different climate states for the same external forcing in a coupled GCM: ice-free, large ice cap, and Snowball. SST and sea ice thickness are plotted. Similar results are found in a pure Aquaplanet (lower) and a "RidgeWorld" with a global-scale ocean basin

  20. Intercomparison of passive microwave sea ice concentration retrievals over the high-concentration Arctic sea ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    andersen, susanne; Tonboe, R.; Kaleschke, L.

    2007-01-01

    [1] Measurements of sea ice concentration from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) using seven different algorithms are compared to ship observations, sea ice divergence estimates from the Radarsat Geophysical Processor System, and ice and water surface type classification of 59 wide...... with sensor noise between 1.3 and 1.8%. This is in accord with variability estimated from analysis of SSM/I time series. Algorithms, which primarily use 85 GHz information, consistently give the best agreement with both SAR ice concentrations and ship observations. Although the 85 GHz information is more...... sensitive to atmospheric influences, it was found that the atmospheric contribution is secondary to the influence of the surface emissivity variability. Analysis of the entire SSM/I time series shows that there are significant differences in trend between sea ice extent and area, using different algorithms...

  1. Do pelagic grazers benefit from sea ice? Insights from the Antarctic sea ice proxy IPSO25

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Schmidt

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Sea ice affects primary production in polar regions in multiple ways. It can dampen water column productivity by reducing light or nutrient supply, provide a habitat for ice algae and condition the marginal ice zone (MIZ for phytoplankton blooms on its seasonal retreat. The relative importance of three different carbon sources (sea ice derived, sea ice conditioned, non-sea-ice associated for the polar food web is not well understood, partly due to the lack of methods that enable their unambiguous distinction. Here we analysed two highly branched isoprenoid (HBI biomarkers to trace sea-ice-derived and sea-ice-conditioned carbon in Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba and relate their concentrations to the grazers' body reserves, growth and recruitment. During our sampling in January–February 2003, the proxy for sea ice diatoms (a di-unsaturated HBI termed IPSO25, δ13C  =  −12.5 ± 3.3 ‰ occurred in open waters of the western Scotia Sea, where seasonal ice retreat was slow. In suspended matter from surface waters, IPSO25 was present at a few stations close to the ice edge, but in krill the marker was widespread. Even at stations that had been ice-free for several weeks, IPSO25 was found in krill stomachs, suggesting that they gathered the ice-derived algae from below the upper mixed layer. Peak abundances of the proxy for MIZ diatoms (a tri-unsaturated HBI termed HBI III, δ13C  =  −42.2 ± 2.4 ‰ occurred in regions of fast sea ice retreat and persistent salinity-driven stratification in the eastern Scotia Sea. Krill sampled in the area defined by the ice edge bloom likewise contained high amounts of HBI III. As indicators for the grazer's performance we used the mass–length ratio, size of digestive gland and growth rate for krill, and recruitment for the biomass-dominant calanoid copepods Calanoides acutus and Calanus propinquus. These indices consistently point to blooms in the MIZ as an important feeding

  2. Estimates of ikaite export from sea ice to the underlying seawater in a sea ice–seawater mesocosm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.-X. Geilfus

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The precipitation of ikaite and its fate within sea ice is still poorly understood. We quantify temporal inorganic carbon dynamics in sea ice from initial formation to its melt in a sea ice–seawater mesocosm pool from 11 to 29 January 2013. Based on measurements of total alkalinity (TA and total dissolved inorganic carbon (TCO2, the main processes affecting inorganic carbon dynamics within sea ice were ikaite precipitation and CO2 exchange with the atmosphere. In the underlying seawater, the dissolution of ikaite was the main process affecting inorganic carbon dynamics. Sea ice acted as an active layer, releasing CO2 to the atmosphere during the growth phase, taking up CO2 as it melted and exporting both ikaite and TCO2 into the underlying seawater during the whole experiment. Ikaite precipitation of up to 167 µmolkg−1 within sea ice was estimated, while its export and dissolution into the underlying seawater was responsible for a TA increase of 64–66 µmolkg−1 in the water column. The export of TCO2 from sea ice to the water column increased the underlying seawater TCO2 by 43.5 µmolkg−1, suggesting that almost all of the TCO2 that left the sea ice was exported to the underlying seawater. The export of ikaite from the ice to the underlying seawater was associated with brine rejection during sea ice growth, increased vertical connectivity in sea ice due to the upward percolation of seawater and meltwater flushing during sea ice melt. Based on the change in TA in the water column around the onset of sea ice melt, more than half of the total ikaite precipitated in the ice during sea ice growth was still contained in the ice when the sea ice began to melt. Ikaite crystal dissolution in the water column kept the seawater pCO2 undersaturated with respect to the atmosphere in spite of increased salinity, TA and TCO2 associated with sea ice growth. Results indicate that ikaite export from sea ice and its dissolution in the underlying

  3. Forecast of Antarctic Sea Ice and Meteorological Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreira, S.; Orquera, F.

    2017-12-01

    Since 2001, we have been forecasting the climatic fields of the Antarctic sea ice (SI) and surface air temperature, surface pressure and precipitation anomalies for the Southern Hemisphere at the Meteorological Department of the Argentine Naval Hydrographic Service with different techniques that have evolved with the years. Forecast is based on the results of Principal Components Analysis applied to SI series (S-Mode) that gives patterns of temporal series with validity areas (these series are important to determine which areas in Antarctica will have positive or negative SI anomalies based on what happen in the atmosphere) and, on the other hand, to SI fields (T-Mode) that give us the form of the SI fields anomalies based on a classification of 16 patterns. Each T-Mode pattern has unique atmospheric fields associated to them. Therefore, it is possible to forecast whichever atmosphere variable we decide for the Southern Hemisphere. When the forecast is obtained, each pattern has a probability of occurrence and sometimes it is necessary to compose more than one of them to obtain the final result. S-Mode and T-Mode are monthly updated with new data, for that reason the forecasts improved with the increase of cases since 2001. We used the Monthly Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations database derived from satellite information generated by NASA Team algorithm provided monthly by the National Snow and Ice Data Center of USA that begins in November 1978. Recently, we have been experimenting with multilayer Perceptron (neuronal network) with supervised learning and a back-propagation algorithm to improve the forecast. The Perceptron is the most common Artificial Neural Network topology dedicated to image pattern recognition. It was implemented through the use of temperature and pressure anomalies field images that were associated with a the different sea ice anomaly patterns. The variables analyzed included only composites of surface air temperature and pressure anomalies

  4. NASA Team 2 Sea Ice Concentration Algorithm Retrieval Uncertainty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brucker, Ludovic; Cavalieri, Donald J.; Markus, Thorsten; Ivanoff, Alvaro

    2014-01-01

    Satellite microwave radiometers are widely used to estimate sea ice cover properties (concentration, extent, and area) through the use of sea ice concentration (IC) algorithms. Rare are the algorithms providing associated IC uncertainty estimates. Algorithm uncertainty estimates are needed to assess accurately global and regional trends in IC (and thus extent and area), and to improve sea ice predictions on seasonal to interannual timescales using data assimilation approaches. This paper presents a method to provide relative IC uncertainty estimates using the enhanced NASA Team (NT2) IC algorithm. The proposed approach takes advantage of the NT2 calculations and solely relies on the brightness temperatures (TBs) used as input. NT2 IC and its associated relative uncertainty are obtained for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres using the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) TB. NT2 IC relative uncertainties estimated on a footprint-by-footprint swath-by-swath basis were averaged daily over each 12.5-km grid cell of the polar stereographic grid. For both hemispheres and throughout the year, the NT2 relative uncertainty is less than 5%. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is low in the interior ice pack, and it increases in the marginal ice zone up to 5%. In the Northern Hemisphere, areas with high uncertainties are also found in the high IC area of the Central Arctic. Retrieval uncertainties are greater in areas corresponding to NT2 ice types associated with deep snow and new ice. Seasonal variations in uncertainty show larger values in summer as a result of melt conditions and greater atmospheric contributions. Our analysis also includes an evaluation of the NT2 algorithm sensitivity to AMSR-E sensor noise. There is a 60% probability that the IC does not change (to within the computed retrieval precision of 1%) due to sensor noise, and the cumulated probability shows that there is a 90% chance that the IC varies by less than

  5. Sea ice classification using dual polarization SAR data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huiying, Liu; Huadong, Guo; Lu, Zhang

    2014-01-01

    Sea ice is an indicator of climate change and also a threat to the navigation security of ships. Polarimetric SAR images are useful in the sea ice detection and classification. In this paper, backscattering coefficients and texture features derived from dual polarization SAR images are used for sea ice classification. Firstly, the HH image is recalculated based on the angular dependences of sea ice types. Then the effective gray level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM) texture features are selected for the support vector machine (SVM) classification. In the end, because sea ice concentration can provide a better separation of pancake ice from old ice, it is used to improve the SVM result. This method provides a good classification result, compared with the sea ice chart from CIS

  6. A network model for characterizing brine channels in sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieblappen, Ross M.; Kumar, Deip D.; Pauls, Scott D.; Obbard, Rachel W.

    2018-03-01

    The brine pore space in sea ice can form complex connected structures whose geometry is critical in the governance of important physical transport processes between the ocean, sea ice, and surface. Recent advances in three-dimensional imaging using X-ray micro-computed tomography have enabled the visualization and quantification of the brine network morphology and variability. Using imaging of first-year sea ice samples at in situ temperatures, we create a new mathematical network model to characterize the topology and connectivity of the brine channels. This model provides a statistical framework where we can characterize the pore networks via two parameters, depth and temperature, for use in dynamical sea ice models. Our approach advances the quantification of brine connectivity in sea ice, which can help investigations of bulk physical properties, such as fluid permeability, that are key in both global and regional sea ice models.

  7. Sea Ice Microorganisms: Environmental Constraints and Extracellular Responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jody W. Deming

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Inherent to sea ice, like other high latitude environments, is the strong seasonality driven by changes in insolation throughout the year. Sea-ice organisms are exposed to shifting, sometimes limiting, conditions of temperature and salinity. An array of adaptations to survive these and other challenges has been acquired by those organisms that inhabit the ice. One key adaptive response is the production of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS, which play multiple roles in the entrapment, retention and survival of microorganisms in sea ice. In this concept paper we consider two main areas of sea-ice microbiology: the physico-chemical properties that define sea ice as a microbial habitat, imparting particular advantages and limits; and extracellular responses elicited in microbial inhabitants as they exploit or survive these conditions. Emphasis is placed on protective strategies used in the face of fluctuating and extreme environmental conditions in sea ice. Gaps in knowledge and testable hypotheses are identified for future research.

  8. A network model for electrical transport in sea ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu, J.; Golden, K.M.; Gully, A.; Sampson, C.

    2010-01-01

    Monitoring the thickness of sea ice is an important tool in assessing the impact of global warming on Earth's polar regions, and most methods of measuring ice thickness depend on detailed knowledge of its electrical properties. We develop a network model for the electrical conductivity of sea ice, which incorporates statistical measurements of the brine microstructure. The numerical simulations are in close agreement with direct measurements we made in Antarctica on the vertical conductivity of first year sea ice.

  9. Strong modification of stratospheric ozone forcing by cloud and sea-ice adjustments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Xia

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available We investigate the climatic impact of stratospheric ozone recovery (SOR, with a focus on the surface temperature change in atmosphere–slab ocean coupled climate simulations. We find that although SOR would cause significant surface warming (global mean: 0.2 K in a climate free of clouds and sea ice, it causes surface cooling (−0.06 K in the real climate. The results here are especially interesting in that the stratosphere-adjusted radiative forcing is positive in both cases. Radiation diagnosis shows that the surface cooling is mainly due to a strong radiative effect resulting from significant reduction of global high clouds and, to a lesser extent, from an increase in high-latitude sea ice. Our simulation experiments suggest that clouds and sea ice are sensitive to stratospheric ozone perturbation, which constitutes a significant radiative adjustment that influences the sign and magnitude of the global surface temperature change.

  10. Arctic sea ice decline contributes to thinning lake ice trend in northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexeev, Vladimir; Arp, Christopher D.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Cai, Lei

    2016-01-01

    Field measurements, satellite observations, and models document a thinning trend in seasonal Arctic lake ice growth, causing a shift from bedfast to floating ice conditions. September sea ice concentrations in the Arctic Ocean since 1991 correlate well (r = +0.69,p Research and Forecasting model output produced a 7% decrease in lake ice growth when 2007/08 sea ice was imposed on 1991/92 climatology and a 9% increase in lake ice growth for the opposing experiment. Here, we clearly link early winter 'ocean-effect' snowfall and warming to reduced lake ice growth. Future reductions in sea ice extent will alter hydrological, biogeochemical, and habitat functioning of Arctic lakes and cause sub-lake permafrost thaw.

  11. Collaborations for Arctic Sea Ice Information and Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheffield Guy, L.; Wiggins, H. V.; Turner-Bogren, E. J.; Rich, R. H.

    2017-12-01

    The dramatic and rapid changes in Arctic sea ice require collaboration across boundaries, including between disciplines, sectors, institutions, and between scientists and decision-makers. This poster will highlight several projects that provide knowledge to advance the development and use of sea ice knowledge. Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO: https://www.arcus.org/search-program/siwo) - SIWO is a resource for Alaskan Native subsistence hunters and other interested stakeholders. SIWO provides weekly reports, during April-June, of sea ice conditions relevant to walrus in the northern Bering and southern Chukchi seas. Collaboration among scientists, Alaskan Native sea-ice experts, and the Eskimo Walrus Commission is fundamental to this project's success. Sea Ice Prediction Network (SIPN: https://www.arcus.org/sipn) - A collaborative, multi-agency-funded project focused on seasonal Arctic sea ice predictions. The goals of SIPN include: coordinate and evaluate Arctic sea ice predictions; integrate, assess, and guide observations; synthesize predictions and observations; and disseminate predictions and engage key stakeholders. The Sea Ice Outlook—a key activity of SIPN—is an open process to share and synthesize predictions of the September minimum Arctic sea ice extent and other variables. Other SIPN activities include workshops, webinars, and communications across the network. Directory of Sea Ice Experts (https://www.arcus.org/researchers) - ARCUS has undertaken a pilot project to develop a web-based directory of sea ice experts across institutions, countries, and sectors. The goal of the project is to catalyze networking between individual investigators, institutions, funding agencies, and other stakeholders interested in Arctic sea ice. Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH: https://www.arcus.org/search-program) - SEARCH is a collaborative program that advances research, synthesizes research findings, and broadly communicates the results to support

  12. Synthesis of User Needs for Arctic Sea Ice Predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiggins, H. V.; Turner-Bogren, E. J.; Sheffield Guy, L.

    2017-12-01

    Forecasting Arctic sea ice on sub-seasonal to seasonal scales in a changing Arctic is of interest to a diverse range of stakeholders. However, sea ice forecasting is still challenging due to high variability in weather and ocean conditions and limits to prediction capabilities; the science needs for observations and modeling are extensive. At a time of challenged science funding, one way to prioritize sea ice prediction efforts is to examine the information needs of various stakeholder groups. This poster will present a summary and synthesis of existing surveys, reports, and other literature that examines user needs for sea ice predictions. The synthesis will include lessons learned from the Sea Ice Prediction Network (a collaborative, multi-agency-funded project focused on seasonal Arctic sea ice predictions), the Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (a resource for Alaska Native subsistence hunters and coastal communities, that provides reports on weather and sea ice conditions), and other efforts. The poster will specifically compare the scales and variables of sea ice forecasts currently available, as compared to what information is requested by various user groups.

  13. Modelling the future of the arctic sea ice cover

    OpenAIRE

    Myklebust, Erik Bryhn

    2017-01-01

    Record lows in sea ice cover have recently sparked new interest in the small ice cap instability. The change in albedo when sea ice becomes open water introduces a nonlinearity called the ice-albedo feedback. Forcing a joint energy- balance and sea ice model can lead to unstable ice caps in certain parameter regimes. When the ice caps are unstable, a small perturbation will initiate a tipping point in the sea ice cover. For tipping points in general, a number of studies have pointed out that ...

  14. The refreezing of melt ponds on Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flocco, Daniela; Feltham, Daniel L.; Bailey, Eleanor; Schroeder, David

    2015-02-01

    The presence of melt ponds on the surface of Arctic sea ice significantly reduces its albedo, inducing a positive feedback leading to sea ice thinning. While the role of melt ponds in enhancing the summer melt of sea ice is well known, their impact on suppressing winter freezing of sea ice has, hitherto, received less attention. Melt ponds freeze by forming an ice lid at the upper surface, which insulates them from the atmosphere and traps pond water between the underlying sea ice and the ice lid. The pond water is a store of latent heat, which is released during refreezing. Until a pond freezes completely, there can be minimal ice growth at the base of the underlying sea ice. In this work, we present a model of the refreezing of a melt pond that includes the heat and salt balances in the ice lid, trapped pond, and underlying sea ice. The model uses a two-stream radiation model to account for radiative scattering at phase boundaries. Simulations and related sensitivity studies suggest that trapped pond water may survive for over a month. We focus on the role that pond salinity has on delaying the refreezing process and retarding basal sea ice growth. We estimate that for a typical sea ice pond coverage in autumn, excluding the impact of trapped ponds in models overestimates ice growth by up to 265 million km3, an overestimate of 26%.

  15. Gypsum crystals observed in experimental and natural sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geilfus, N.-X.; Galley, R. J.; Cooper, M.; Halden, N.; Hare, A.; Wang, F.; Søgaard, D. H.; Rysgaard, S.

    2013-12-01

    gypsum has been predicted to precipitate in sea ice, it has never been observed. Here we provide the first report on gypsum precipitation in both experimental and natural sea ice. Crystals were identified by X-ray diffraction analysis. Based on their apparent distinguishing characteristics, the gypsum crystals were identified as being authigenic. The FREeZing CHEMistry (FREZCHEM) model results support our observations of both gypsum and ikaite precipitation at typical in situ sea ice temperatures and confirms the "Gitterman pathway" where gypsum is predicted to precipitate. The occurrence of authigenic gypsum in sea ice during its formation represents a new observation of precipitate formation and potential marine deposition in polar seas.

  16. A new pattern of the moisture transport for precipitation related to the drastic decline in Arctic sea ice extent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimeno-Sotelo, Luis; Nieto, Raquel; Vázquez, Marta; Gimeno, Luis

    2018-05-01

    In this study we use the term moisture transport for precipitation for a target region as the moisture coming to this region from its major moisture sources resulting in precipitation over the target region (MTP). We have identified changes in the pattern of moisture transport for precipitation over the Arctic region, the Arctic Ocean, and its 13 main subdomains concurrent with the major sea ice decline that occurred in 2003. The pattern consists of a general decrease in moisture transport in summer and enhanced moisture transport in autumn and early winter, with different contributions depending on the moisture source and ocean subregion. The pattern is statistically significant and consistent with changes in the vertically integrated moisture fluxes and frequency of circulation types. The results of this paper also reveal that the assumed and partially documented enhanced poleward moisture transport from lower latitudes as a consequence of increased moisture from climate change seems to be less simple and constant than typically recognised in relation to enhanced Arctic precipitation throughout the year in the present climate.

  17. Response of Antarctic sea surface temperature and sea ice to ozone depletion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, D.; Gnanadesikan, A.; Kostov, Y.; Marshall, J.; Seviour, W.; Waugh, D.

    2017-12-01

    The influence of the Antarctic ozone hole extends all the way from the stratosphere through the troposphere down to the surface, with clear signatures on surface winds, and SST during summer. In this talk we discuss the impact of these changes on the ocean circulation and sea ice state. We are notably motivated by the observed cooling of the surface Southern Ocean and associated increase in Antarctic sea ice extent since the 1970s. These trends are not reproduced by CMIP5 climate models, and the underlying mechanism at work in nature and the models remain unexplained. Did the ozone hole contribute to the observed trends?Here, we review recent advances toward answering these issues using "abrupt ozone depletion" experiments. The ocean and sea ice response is rather complex, comprising two timescales: a fast ( 1-2y) cooling of the surface ocean and sea ice cover increase, followed by a slower warming trend, which, depending on models, flip the sign of the SST and sea ice responses on decadal timescale. Although the basic mechanism seems robust, comparison across climate models reveal large uncertainties in the timescales and amplitude of the response to the extent that even the sign of the ocean and sea ice response to ozone hole and recovery remains unconstrained. After briefly describing the dynamics and thermodynamics behind the two-timescale response, we will discuss the main sources of uncertainties in the modeled response, namely cloud effects and air-sea heat exchanges, surface wind stress response and ocean eddy transports. Finally, we will consider the implications of our results on the ability of coupled climate models to reproduce observed Southern Ocean changes.

  18. The Influence of Sea Ice on Arctic Low Cloud Properties and Radiative Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Patrick C.

    2015-01-01

    The Arctic is one of the most climatically sensitive regions of the Earth. Climate models robustly project the Arctic to warm 2-3 times faster than the global mean surface temperature, termed polar warming amplification (PWA), but also display the widest range of surface temperature projections in this region. The response of the Arctic to increased CO2 modulates the response in tropical and extra-tropical regions through teleconnections in the atmospheric circulation. An increased frequency of extreme precipitation events in the northern mid-latitudes, for example, has been linked to the change in the background equator-to-pole temperature gradient implied by PWA. Understanding the Arctic climate system is therefore important for predicting global climate change. The ice albedo feedback is the primary mechanism driving PWA, however cloud and dynamical feedbacks significantly contribute. These feedback mechanisms, however, do not operate independently. How do clouds respond to variations in sea ice? This critical question is addressed by combining sea ice, cloud, and radiation observations from satellites, including CERES, CloudSAT, CALIPSO, MODIS, and microwave radiometers, to investigate sea ice-cloud interactions at the interannual timescale in the Arctic. Cloud characteristics are strongly tied to the atmospheric dynamic and thermodynamic state. Therefore, the sensitivity of Arctic cloud characteristics, vertical distribution and optical properties, to sea ice anomalies is computed within atmospheric dynamic and thermodynamic regimes. Results indicate that the cloud response to changes in sea ice concentration differs significantly between atmospheric state regimes. This suggests that (1) the atmospheric dynamic and thermodynamic characteristics and (2) the characteristics of the marginal ice zone are important for determining the seasonal forcing by cloud on sea ice variability.

  19. A New Discrete Element Sea-Ice Model for Earth System Modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turner, Adrian Keith [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2017-03-10

    Sea ice forms a frozen crust of sea water oating in high-latitude oceans. It is a critical component of the Earth system because its formation helps to drive the global thermohaline circulation, and its seasonal waxing and waning in the high north and Southern Ocean signi cantly affects planetary albedo. Usually 4{6% of Earth's marine surface is covered by sea ice at any one time, which limits the exchange of heat, momentum, and mass between the atmosphere and ocean in the polar realms. Snow accumulates on sea ice and inhibits its vertical growth, increases its albedo, and contributes to pooled water in melt ponds that darken the Arctic ice surface in the spring. Ice extent and volume are subject to strong seasonal, inter-annual and hemispheric variations, and climatic trends, which Earth System Models (ESMs) are challenged to simulate accurately (Stroeve et al., 2012; Stocker et al., 2013). This is because there are strong coupled feedbacks across the atmosphere-ice-ocean boundary layers, including the ice-albedo feedback, whereby a reduced ice cover leads to increased upper ocean heating, further enhancing sea-ice melt and reducing incident solar radiation re ected back into the atmosphere (Perovich et al., 2008). A reduction in perennial Arctic sea-ice during the satellite era has been implicated in mid-latitude weather changes, including over North America (Overland et al., 2015). Meanwhile, most ESMs have been unable to simulate observed inter-annual variability and trends in Antarctic sea-ice extent during the same period (Gagne et al., 2014).

  20. Complex bounds and microstructural recovery from measurements of sea ice permittivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gully, A.; Backstrom, L.G.E.; Eicken, H.; Golden, K.M.

    2007-01-01

    Sea ice is a porous composite of pure ice with brine, air, and salt inclusions. The polar sea ice packs play a key role in the earth's ocean-climate system, and they host robust algal and bacterial communities that support the Arctic and Antarctic ecosystems. Monitoring the sea ice packs on global or regional scales is an increasingly important problem, typically involving the interaction of an electromagnetic wave with sea ice. In the quasistatic regime where the wavelength is much longer than the composite microstructural scale, the electromagnetic behavior is characterized by the effective complex permittivity tensor ε*. In assessing the impact of climate change on the polar sea ice covers, current satellites and algorithms can predict ice extent, but the thickness distribution remains an elusive, yet most important feature. In recent years, electromagnetic induction devices using low frequency waves have been deployed on ships, helicopters and planes to obtain thickness data. Here we compare two sets of theoretical bounds to extensive outdoor tank and in situ field data on ε* at 50MHz taken in the Arctic and Antarctic. The sea ice is assumed to be a two phase composite of ice and brine with known constituent permittivities. The first set of bounds assumes only knowledge of the brine volume fraction or porosity, and the second set further assumes statistical isotropy of the microstructure. We obtain excellent agreement between theory and experiment, and are able to observe the apparent violation of the isotropic bounds as the vertically oriented microstructure becomes increasingly connected for higher porosities. Moreover, these bounds are inverted to obtain estimates of the porosity from the measurements of ε*. We find that the temporal variations of the reconstructed porosity, which is directly related to temperature, closely follow the actual behavior

  1. Heat balance studies on sea ice near Syowa Station, East Antarctica

    OpenAIRE

    Ishikawa,Nobuyoshi; Kobayashi,Shun'ichi; Ohta,Tetsuo; Kawaguchi,Sadao

    1982-01-01

    Heat balance studies were carried out on the Antarctic sea ice surface in the austral spring and summer of 1980. The surface albedo of sea ice covered by a thin snow-layer was kept nearly constant (around 0.8) in spring, but in summer it was reduced to the same value as that of bare ice owing to the change of the surface properties with a great increase in the amount of absorbed net radiation. Variations of heat balance components were presented for every 10 days and two seasons in this paper.

  2. Micrometeorological and Thermal Control of Frost Flower Growth and Decay on Young Sea Ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Galley, Ryan J.; Else, Brent G. T.; Geilfus, Nicolas-Xavier

    2015-01-01

    -wave radiation balance at the surface. The observed crystal habits of the frost flowers were long needles, betraying their origin from the vapour phase at temperatures between -20°C and -30°C. After a night of growth, frost flowers decayed associated with increased solar radiation, a net surface radiation...... and the physical and thermal properties of the sea ice and atmosphere that form, decay and destroy frost flowers on young sea ice. Frost flower formation occurred during a high-pressure system that caused air temperatures to drop to -30°C, with relative humidity of 70% (an under saturated atmosphere), and very...

  3. Influence of Arctic Sea Ice Extent on Polar Cloud Fraction and Vertical Structure and Implications for Regional Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palm, Stephen P.; Strey, Sara T.; Spinhirne, James; Markus, Thorsten

    2010-01-01

    Recent satellite lidar measurements of cloud properties spanning a period of 5 years are used to examine a possible connection between Arctic sea ice amount and polar cloud fraction and vertical distribution. We find an anticorrelation between sea ice extent and cloud fraction with maximum cloudiness occurring over areas with little or no sea ice. We also find that over ice!free regions, there is greater low cloud frequency and average optical depth. Most of the optical depth increase is due to the presence of geometrically thicker clouds over water. In addition, our analysis indicates that over the last 5 years, October and March average polar cloud fraction has increased by about 7% and 10%, respectively, as year average sea ice extent has decreased by 5% 7%. The observed cloud changes are likely due to a number of effects including, but not limited to, the observed decrease in sea ice extent and thickness. Increasing cloud amount and changes in vertical distribution and optical properties have the potential to affect the radiative balance of the Arctic region by decreasing both the upwelling terrestrial longwave radiation and the downward shortwave solar radiation. Because longwave radiation dominates in the long polar winter, the overall effect of increasing low cloud cover is likely a warming of the Arctic and thus a positive climate feedback, possibly accelerating the melting of Arctic sea ice.

  4. The Influence of Arctic Sea Ice Extent on Polar Cloud Fraction and Vertical Structure and Implications for Regional Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palm, Stephen P.; Strey, Sara T.; Spinhirne, James; Markus, Thorsten

    2010-01-01

    Recent satellite lidar measurements of cloud properties spanning a period of five years are used to examine a possible connection between Arctic sea ice amount and polar cloud fraction and vertical distribution. We find an anti-correlation between sea ice extent and cloud fraction with maximum cloudiness occurring over areas with little or no sea ice. We also find that over ice free regions, there is greater low cloud frequency and average optical depth. Most of the optical depth increase is due to the presence of geometrically thicker clouds over water. In addition, our analysis indicates that over the last 5 years, October and March average polar cloud fraction has increased by about 7 and 10 percent, respectively, as year average sea ice extent has decreased by 5 to 7 percent. The observed cloud changes are likely due to a number of effects including, but not limited to, the observed decrease in sea ice extent and thickness. Increasing cloud amount and changes in vertical distribution and optical properties have the potential to affect the radiative balance of the Arctic region by decreasing both the upwelling terrestrial longwave radiation and the downward shortwave solar radiation. Since longwave radiation dominates in the long polar winter, the overall effect of increasing low cloud cover is likely a warming of the Arctic and thus a positive climate feedback, possibly accelerating the melting of Arctic sea ice.

  5. Arctic cloud-climate feedbacks: On relationships between Arctic clouds, sea ice, and lower tropospheric stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, P. C.; Boeke, R.; Hegyi, B.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic low clouds strongly affect the Arctic surface energy budget. Through this impact Arctic low clouds influence other important aspects of the Arctic climate system, namely surface and atmospheric temperature, sea ice extent and thickness, and atmospheric circulation. Arctic clouds are in turn influenced by these Arctic climate system elements creating the potential for Arctic cloud-climate feedbacks. To further our understanding of the potential for Arctic cloud-climate feedbacks, we quantify the influence of atmospheric state on the surface cloud radiative effect (CRE). In addition, we quantify the covariability between surface CRE and sea ice concentration (SIC). This paper builds on previous research using instantaneous, active remote sensing satellite footprint data from the NASA A-Train. First, the results indicate significant differences in the surface CRE when stratified by atmospheric state. Second, a statistically insignificant covariability is found between CRE and SIC for most atmospheric conditions. Third, we find a statistically significant increase in the average surface longwave CRE at lower SIC values in fall. Specifically, a +3-5 W m-2 larger longwave CRE is found over footprints with 0% versus 100% SIC. Because systematic changes on the order of 1 W m-2 are sufficient to explain the observed long-term reductions in sea ice extent, our results indicate a potentially significant amplifying sea ice-cloud feedback that could delay the fall freeze-up and influence the variability in sea ice extent and volume, under certain meteorological conditions. Our results also suggest that a small change in the frequency of occurrence of atmosphere states may yield a larger Arctic cloud feedback than any cloud response to sea ice.

  6. A simple model for the evolution of melt pond coverage on permeable Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popović, Predrag; Abbot, Dorian

    2017-05-01

    As the melt season progresses, sea ice in the Arctic often becomes permeable enough to allow for nearly complete drainage of meltwater that has collected on the ice surface. Melt ponds that remain after drainage are hydraulically connected to the ocean and correspond to regions of sea ice whose surface is below sea level. We present a simple model for the evolution of melt pond coverage on such permeable sea ice floes in which we allow for spatially varying ice melt rates and assume the whole floe is in hydrostatic balance. The model is represented by two simple ordinary differential equations, where the rate of change of pond coverage depends on the pond coverage. All the physical parameters of the system are summarized by four strengths that control the relative importance of the terms in the equations. The model both fits observations and allows us to understand the behavior of melt ponds in a way that is often not possible with more complex models. Examples of insights we can gain from the model are that (1) the pond growth rate is more sensitive to changes in bare sea ice albedo than changes in pond albedo, (2) ponds grow slower on smoother ice, and (3) ponds respond strongest to freeboard sinking on first-year ice and sidewall melting on multiyear ice. We also show that under a global warming scenario, pond coverage would increase, decreasing the overall ice albedo and leading to ice thinning that is likely comparable to thinning due to direct forcing. Since melt pond coverage is one of the key parameters controlling the albedo of sea ice, understanding the mechanisms that control the distribution of pond coverage will help improve large-scale model parameterizations and sea ice forecasts in a warming climate.

  7. Tropospheric characteristics over sea ice during N-ICE2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kayser, Markus; Maturilli, Marion; Graham, Robert; Hudson, Stephen; Cohen, Lana; Rinke, Annette; Kim, Joo-Hong; Park, Sang-Jong; Moon, Woosok; Granskog, Mats

    2017-04-01

    Over recent years, the Arctic Ocean region has shifted towards a younger and thinner sea-ice regime. The Norwegian young sea ICE (N-ICE2015) expedition was designed to investigate the atmosphere-snow-ice-ocean interactions in this new ice regime north of Svalbard. Here we analyze upper-air measurements made by radiosondes launched twice daily together with surface meteorology observations during N-ICE2015 from January to June 2015. We study the multiple cyclonic events observed during N-ICE2015 with respect to changes in the vertical thermodynamic structure, sudden increases in moisture content and temperature, temperature inversions and boundary layer dynamics. The influence of synoptic cyclones is strongest under polar night conditions, when radiative cooling is most effective and the moisture content is low. We find that transitions between the radiatively clear and opaque state are the largest drivers of changes to temperature inversion and stability characteristics in the boundary layer during winter. In spring radiative fluxes warm the surface leading to lifted temperature inversions and a statically unstable boundary layer. The unique N-ICE2015 dataset is used for case studies investigating changes in the vertical structure of the atmosphere under varying synoptic conditions. The goal is to deepen our understanding of synoptic interactions within the Arctic climate system, to improve model performance, as well as to identify gaps in instrumentation, which precludes further investigations.

  8. Dynamic ikaite production and dissolution in sea ice - control by temperature, salinity and pCO2 conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rysgaard, S.; Wang, F.; Galley, R. J.; Grimm, R.; Lemes, M.; Geilfus, N.-X.; Chaulk, A.; Hare, A. A.; Crabeck, O.; Else, B. G. T.; Campbell, K.; Papakyriakou, T.; Sørensen, L. L.; Sievers, J.; Notz, D.

    2013-12-01

    Ikaite is a hydrous calcium carbonate mineral (CaCO3 · 6H2O). It is only found in a metastable state, and decomposes rapidly once removed from near-freezing water. Recently, ikaite crystals have been found in sea ice and it has been suggested that their precipitation may play an important role in air-sea CO2 exchange in ice-covered seas. Little is known, however, of the spatial and temporal dynamics of ikaite in sea ice. Here we present evidence for highly dynamic ikaite precipitation and dissolution in sea ice grown at an out-door pool of the Sea-ice Environmental Research Facility (SERF). During the experiment, ikaite precipitated in sea ice with temperatures below -3 °C, creating three distinct zones of ikaite concentrations: (1) a mm to cm thin surface layer containing frost flowers and brine skim with bulk concentrations of > 2000 μmol kg-1, (2) an internal layer with concentrations of 200-400 μmol kg-1 and (3) a~bottom layer with concentrations of ikaite crystals under acidic conditions. Manual removal of the snow cover allowed the sea ice to cool and brine salinities to increase, resulting in rapid ikaite precipitation. The modeled (FREZCHEM) ikaite concentrations were in the same order of magnitude as observations and suggest that ikaite concentration in sea ice increase with decreasing temperatures. Thus, varying snow conditions may play a key role in ikaite precipitation and dissolution in sea ice. This will have implications for CO2 exchange with the atmosphere and ocean.

  9. There goes the sea ice: following Arctic sea ice parcels and their properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschudi, M. A.; Tooth, M.; Meier, W.; Stewart, S.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic sea ice distribution has changed considerably over the last couple of decades. Sea ice extent record minimums have been observed in recent years, the distribution of ice age now heavily favors younger ice, and sea ice is likely thinning. This new state of the Arctic sea ice cover has several impacts, including effects on marine life, feedback on the warming of the ocean and atmosphere, and on the future evolution of the ice pack. The shift in the state of the ice cover, from a pack dominated by older ice, to the current state of a pack with mostly young ice, impacts specific properties of the ice pack, and consequently the pack's response to the changing Arctic climate. For example, younger ice typically contains more numerous melt ponds during the melt season, resulting in a lower albedo. First-year ice is typically thinner and more fragile than multi-year ice, making it more susceptible to dynamic and thermodynamic forcing. To investigate the response of the ice pack to climate forcing during summertime melt, we have developed a database that tracks individual Arctic sea ice parcels along with associated properties as these parcels advect during the summer. Our database tracks parcels in the Beaufort Sea, from 1985 - present, along with variables such as ice surface temperature, albedo, ice concentration, and convergence. We are using this database to deduce how these thousands of tracked parcels fare during summer melt, i.e. what fraction of the parcels advect through the Beaufort, and what fraction melts out? The tracked variables describe the thermodynamic and dynamic forcing on these parcels during their journey. This database will also be made available to all interested investigators, after it is published in the near future. The attached image shows the ice surface temperature of all parcels (right) that advected through the Beaufort Sea region (left) in 2014.

  10. Exopolymer alteration of physical properties of sea ice and implications for ice habitability and biogeochemistry in a warmer Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krembs, Christopher; Eicken, Hajo; Deming, Jody W

    2011-03-01

    The physical properties of Arctic sea ice determine its habitability. Whether ice-dwelling organisms can change those properties has rarely been addressed. Following discovery that sea ice contains an abundance of gelatinous extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), we examined the effects of algal EPS on the microstructure and salt retention of ice grown from saline solutions containing EPS from a culture of the sea-ice diatom, Melosira arctica. We also experimented with xanthan gum and with EPS from a culture of the cold-adapted bacterium Colwellia psychrerythraea strain 34H. Quantitative microscopic analyses of the artificial ice containing Melosira EPS revealed convoluted ice-pore morphologies of high fractal dimension, mimicking features found in EPS-rich coastal sea ice, whereas EPS-free (control) ice featured much simpler pore geometries. A heat-sensitive glycoprotein fraction of Melosira EPS accounted for complex pore morphologies. Although all tested forms of EPS increased bulk ice salinity (by 11-59%) above the controls, ice containing native Melosira EPS retained the most salt. EPS effects on ice and pore microstructure improve sea ice habitability, survivability, and potential for increased primary productivity, even as they may alter the persistence and biogeochemical imprint of sea ice on the surface ocean in a warming climate.

  11. Improvement in Simulation of Eurasian Winter Climate Variability with a Realistic Arctic Sea Ice Condition in an Atmospheric GCM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Young-Kwon; Ham, Yoo-Geun; Jeong, Jee-Hoon; Kug, Jong-Seong

    2012-01-01

    The present study investigates how much a realistic Arctic sea ice condition can contribute to improve simulation of the winter climate variation over the Eurasia region. Model experiments are set up using different sea ice boundary conditions over the past 24 years (i.e., 1988-2011). One is an atmospheric model inter-comparison (AMIP) type of run forced with observed sea-surface temperature (SST), sea ice, and greenhouse gases (referred to as Exp RSI), and the other is the same as Exp RSI except for the sea ice forcing, which is a repeating climatological annual cycle (referred to as Exp CSI). Results show that Exp RSI produces the observed dominant pattern of Eurasian winter temperatures and their interannual variation better than Exp CSI (correlation difference up to approx. 0.3). Exp RSI captures the observed strong relationship between the sea ice concentration near the Barents and Kara seas and the temperature anomaly across Eurasia, including northeastern Asia, which is not well captured in Exp CSI. Lagged atmospheric responses to sea ice retreat are examined using observations to understand atmospheric processes for the Eurasian cooling response including the Arctic temperature increase, sea-level pressure increase, upper-level jet weakening and cold air outbreak toward the mid-latitude. The reproducibility of these lagged responses by Exp RSI is also evaluated.

  12. Improvement in simulation of Eurasian winter climate variability with a realistic Arctic sea ice condition in an atmospheric GCM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lim, Young-Kwon; Ham, Yoo-Geun; Jeong, Jee-Hoon; Kug, Jong-Seong

    2012-01-01

    The present study investigates how much a realistic Arctic sea ice condition can contribute to improve simulation of the winter climate variation over the Eurasia region. Model experiments are set up using different sea ice boundary conditions over the past 24 years (i.e., 1988–2011). One is an atmospheric model inter-comparison (AMIP) type of run forced with observed sea-surface temperature (SST), sea ice, and greenhouse gases (referred to as Exp RSI), and the other is the same as Exp RSI except for the sea ice forcing, which is a repeating climatological annual cycle (referred to as Exp CSI). Results show that Exp RSI produces the observed dominant pattern of Eurasian winter temperatures and their interannual variation better than Exp CSI (correlation difference up to ∼0.3). Exp RSI captures the observed strong relationship between the sea ice concentration near the Barents and Kara seas and the temperature anomaly across Eurasia, including northeastern Asia, which is not well captured in Exp CSI. Lagged atmospheric responses to sea ice retreat are examined using observations to understand atmospheric processes for the Eurasian cooling response including the Arctic temperature increase, sea-level pressure increase, upper-level jet weakening and cold air outbreak toward the mid-latitude. The reproducibility of these lagged responses by Exp RSI is also evaluated. (letter)

  13. Arctic marine mammal population status, sea ice habitat loss, and conservation recommendations for the 21st century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Harry; Kovacs, Kit M.; Lowry, Lloyd; Moore, Sue E.; Regehr, Eric V.; Ferguson, Steven H.; Wiig, Øystein; Boveng, Peter; Angliss, Robyn P.; Born, Erik W.; Litovka, Dennis; Quakenbush, Lori; Lydersen, Christian; Vongraven, Dag; Ugarte, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Arctic marine mammals (AMMs) are icons of climate change, largely because of their close association with sea ice. However, neither a circumpolar assessment of AMM status nor a standardized metric of sea ice habitat change is available. We summarized available data on abundance and trend for each AMM species and recognized subpopulation. We also examined species diversity, the extent of human use, and temporal trends in sea ice habitat for 12 regions of the Arctic by calculating the dates of spring sea ice retreat and fall sea ice advance from satellite data (1979–2013). Estimates of AMM abundance varied greatly in quality, and few studies were long enough for trend analysis. Of the AMM subpopulations, 78% (61 of 78) are legally harvested for subsistence purposes. Changes in sea ice phenology have been profound. In all regions except the Bering Sea, the duration of the summer (i.e., reduced ice) period increased by 5–10 weeks and by >20 weeks in the Barents Sea between 1979 and 2013. In light of generally poor data, the importance of human use, and forecasted environmental changes in the 21st century, we recommend the following for effective AMM conservation: maintain and improve comanagement by local, federal, and international partners; recognize spatial and temporal variability in AMM subpopulation response to climate change; implement monitoring programs with clear goals; mitigate cumulative impacts of increased human activity; and recognize the limits of current protected species legislation. PMID:25783745

  14. Drivers of past and future Arctic sea-ice evolution in CMIP5 models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgard, Clara; Notz, Dirk

    2016-04-01

    The Arctic sea-ice cover has been melting rapidly over the last decades. The main drivers of this sea-ice retreat are assumed to be changes in sea-ice thermodynamics, driven by changes in atmospheric surface fluxes and the oceanic heat flux at the base of the ice. To identify the fluxes most affecting past and future sea-ice evolution (under the RCP4.5 scenario) in climate models, we analyzed the surface energy budget over the Arctic Ocean in global climate models involved in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) framework. In the multi-model ensemble annual mean, the sum of atmospheric fluxes increases from 1990 to 2045, mainly driven by an increase of the radiative surface fluxes and decreases from 2045 to 2099, mainly driven by an increase in upward turbulent heat fluxes. However, due to the large model spread, the future changes in the sum of atmospheric fluxes are not significant. These non-significant changes result from several effects counteracting each other under climate change. On the one hand, a higher CO2 concentration, air temperature and air moisture lead to a higher incoming energy flux (incoming longwave radiation). On the other hand, the resulting melt of sea ice leads to higher outgoing energy fluxes (outgoing longwave radiation, sensible heat flux, latent heat flux). Shortwave radiation behaves differently, but also in two counteracting ways, as higher air moisture leads to a decrease in incoming shortwave radiation and less sea-ice cover leads to a decrease in outgoing shortwave radiation. The small changes in the atmospheric fluxes can be converted to an energy gain or loss by the ocean/sea-ice system, either as sensible heat by changing the oceanic heat content or as latent heat by changing the sea-ice volume. Such analysis in the multi-model ensemble mean shows that the loss of energy at the surface due to atmospheric fluxes is decreasing during the 21st century, leading to an increase in oceanic heat content and an increase in

  15. Melt ponds on Arctic sea ice determined from MODIS satellite data using an artificial neural network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Rösel

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Melt ponds on sea ice strongly reduce the surface albedo and accelerate the decay of Arctic sea ice. Due to different spectral properties of snow, ice, and water, the fractional coverage of these distinct surface types can be derived from multispectral sensors like the Moderate Resolution Image Spectroradiometer (MODIS using a spectral unmixing algorithm. The unmixing was implemented using a multilayer perceptron to reduce computational costs.

    Arctic-wide melt pond fractions and sea ice concentrations are derived from the level 3 MODIS surface reflectance product. The validation of the MODIS melt pond data set was conducted with aerial photos from the MELTEX campaign 2008 in the Beaufort Sea, data sets from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC for 2000 and 2001 from four sites spread over the entire Arctic, and with ship observations from the trans-Arctic HOTRAX cruise in 2005. The root-mean-square errors range from 3.8 % for the comparison with HOTRAX data, over 10.7 % for the comparison with NSIDC data, to 10.3 % and 11.4 % for the comparison with MELTEX data, with coefficient of determination ranging from R2=0.28 to R2=0.45. The mean annual cycle of the melt pond fraction per grid cell for the entire Arctic shows a strong increase in June, reaching a maximum of 15 % by the end of June. The zonal mean of melt pond fractions indicates a dependence of the temporal development of melt ponds on the geographical latitude, and has its maximum in mid-July at latitudes between 80° and 88° N.

    Furthermore, the MODIS results are used to estimate the influence of melt ponds on retrievals of sea ice concentrations from passive microwave data. Results from a case study comparing sea ice concentrations from ARTIST Sea Ice-, NASA Team 2-, and Bootstrap-algorithms with MODIS sea ice concentrations indicate an underestimation of around 40 % for sea ice concentrations retrieved with microwave

  16. Coastal sea-ice processes in Alaska and their relevance for sediment dynamics and coastal retreat (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eicken, H.; Kapsch, M.; Johnson, M. A.; Weyapuk, W. U., Jr.

    2009-12-01

    Sea ice plays an important, complicated role in Arctic coastal sediment dynamics. It helps protect the shoreline from wave action and constrains coastal permafrost thaw; at the same time, sea ice is a highly effective sediment erosion and transport agent. For the coastline of (sub-)Arctic Alaska we have examined key processes that govern the role of sea ice as a geologic agent. Based on passive microwave satellite data for the time period 1979 to 2008 and augmented by field measurements and observations conducted by local sea-ice experts in coastal communities from 2006 onwards, we determined the onset of coastal ice spring break-up and fall freeze-up. These two events define the start and end of the open-water season during which the coast is rendered most vulnerable to thermal and dynamic processes promoting erosion. Satellite data show significant trends toward later fall freeze-up in many locations and moreover provide a picture of the statistical significance and variability of such trends in great spatio-temporal detail. Coastal ice observations suggest that important sea-ice processes (such as formation of ice berms) that precede freeze-up as detected by passive microwave data need to be taken into consideration in evaluating the vulnerability of the coastline and the specific threat of individual storms. Field observations, satellite data and local knowledge also highlight the substantial change in winter sea-ice regimes over the past two decades, with a much more mobile ice cover enhancing winter sediment transport. Ultimately, the shorter sea-ice season and the greater mobility and the lack of stability of winter coastal sea ice work in concert to increase the vulnerability of the coastline to erosion and flooding. At the same time, these changes provide a mechanism for effective redistribution and cross-shelf transport of sediments that prepares the stage for further erosive action in subsequent seasons.

  17. On retrieving sea ice freeboard from ICESat laser altimeter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Khvorostovsky

    2016-10-01

    freeboard underestimation over most of these thinner parts of sea ice can be reduced to less than 2 cm when using the improved TP method proposed in this paper. The corrections for snow depth in leads and lead width, (c, are applied only for the JPL product and increase the freeboard estimates by about 7 cm on average. Thus, different approaches to calculating sea surface references and different along-track averaging scales from one side and the freeboard corrections as applied when producing the JPL data set from the other side roughly compensate each other with respect to freeboard estimation. Therefore, one may conclude that the difference in the mean sea ice thickness between the JPL and GSFC data sets reported in previous studies should be attributed mostly to different parameters used in the freeboard-to-thickness conversion.

  18. Metagenomic survey of the taxonomic and functional microbial communities of seawater and sea ice from the Canadian Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yergeau, Etienne; Michel, Christine; Tremblay, Julien; Niemi, Andrea; King, Thomas L; Wyglinski, Joanne; Lee, Kenneth; Greer, Charles W

    2017-02-08

    Climate change has resulted in an accelerated decline of Arctic sea ice since 2001 resulting in primary production increases and prolongation of the ice-free season within the Northwest Passage. The taxonomic and functional microbial community composition of the seawater and sea ice of the Canadian Arctic is not very well known. Bacterial communities from the bottom layer of sea ice cores and surface water from 23 locations around Cornwallis Island, NU, Canada, were extensively screened. The bacterial 16S rRNA gene was sequenced for all samples while shotgun metagenomics was performed on selected samples. Bacterial community composition showed large variation throughout the sampling area both for sea ice and seawater. Seawater and sea ice samples harbored significantly distinct microbial communities, both at different taxonomic levels and at the functional level. A key difference between the two sample types was the dominance of algae in sea ice samples, as visualized by the higher relative abundance of algae and photosynthesis-related genes in the metagenomic datasets and the higher chl a concentrations. The relative abundance of various OTUs and functional genes were significantly correlated with multiple environmental parameters, highlighting many potential environmental drivers and ecological strategies.

  19. What Models and Satellites Tell Us (and Don't Tell Us) About Arctic Sea Ice Melt Season Length

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahlert, A.; Jahn, A.

    2017-12-01

    Melt season length—the difference between the sea ice melt onset date and the sea ice freeze onset date—plays an important role in the radiation balance of the Arctic and the predictability of the sea ice cover. However, there are multiple possible definitions for sea ice melt and freeze onset in climate models, and none of them exactly correspond to the remote sensing definition. Using the CESM Large Ensemble model simulations, we show how this mismatch between model and remote sensing definitions of melt and freeze onset limits the utility of melt season remote sensing data for bias detection in models. It also opens up new questions about the precise physical meaning of the melt season remote sensing data. Despite these challenges, we find that the increase in melt season length in the CESM is not as large as that derived from remote sensing data, even when we account for internal variability and different definitions. At the same time, we find that the CESM ensemble members that have the largest trend in sea ice extent over the period 1979-2014 also have the largest melt season trend, driven primarily by the trend towards later freeze onsets. This might be an indication that an underestimation of the melt season length trend is one factor contributing to the generally underestimated sea ice loss within the CESM, and potentially climate models in general.

  20. Sea ice dynamics influence halogen deposition to Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Spolaor

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Sea ice is an important parameter in the climate system and its changes impact upon the polar albedo and atmospheric and oceanic circulation. Iodine (I and bromine (Br have been measured in a shallow firn core drilled at the summit of the Holtedahlfonna glacier (Northwest Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Changing I concentrations can be linked to the March–May maximum sea ice extension. Bromine enrichment, indexed to the Br / Na sea water mass ratio, appears to be influenced by changes in the seasonal sea ice area. I is emitted from marine biota and so the retreat of March–May sea ice coincides with enlargement of the open-ocean surface which enhances marine primary production and consequent I emission. The observed Br enrichment could be explained by greater Br emissions during the Br explosions that have been observed to occur mainly above first year sea ice during the early springtime. In this work we present the first comparison between halogens in surface snow and Arctic sea ice extension. Although further investigation is required to characterize potential depositional and post-depositional processes, these preliminary findings suggest that I and Br can be linked to variability in the spring maximum sea ice extension and seasonal sea ice surface area.

  1. High resolution modelling of the decreasing Arctic sea ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, K. S.; Rasmussen, T. A. S.; Blüthgen, Jonas

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic sea ice cover has been rapidly decreasing and thinning over the last decade, with minimum ice extent in 2007 and almost as low extent in 2011. This study investigates two aspects of the decreasing ice cover; first the large scale thinning and changing dynamics of the polar sea ice, and...

  2. Quantifying uncertainty and sensitivity in sea ice models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Urrego Blanco, Jorge Rolando [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Hunke, Elizabeth Clare [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Urban, Nathan Mark [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2016-07-15

    The Los Alamos Sea Ice model has a number of input parameters for which accurate values are not always well established. We conduct a variance-based sensitivity analysis of hemispheric sea ice properties to 39 input parameters. The method accounts for non-linear and non-additive effects in the model.

  3. Nudging the Arctic Ocean to quantify Arctic sea ice feedbacks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dekker, Evelien; Severijns, Camiel; Bintanja, Richard

    2017-04-01

    It is well-established that the Arctic is warming 2 to 3 time faster than rest of the planet. One of the great uncertainties in climate research is related to what extent sea ice feedbacks amplify this (seasonally varying) Arctic warming. Earlier studies have analyzed existing climate model output using correlations and energy budget considerations in order to quantify sea ice feedbacks through indirect methods. From these analyses it is regularly inferred that sea ice likely plays an important role, but details remain obscure. Here we will take a different and a more direct approach: we will keep the sea ice constant in a sensitivity simulation, using a state-of -the-art climate model (EC-Earth), applying a technique that has never been attempted before. This experimental technique involves nudging the temperature and salinity of the ocean surface (and possibly some layers below to maintain the vertical structure and mixing) to a predefined prescribed state. When strongly nudged to existing (seasonally-varying) sea surface temperatures, ocean salinity and temperature, we force the sea ice to remain in regions/seasons where it is located in the prescribed state, despite the changing climate. Once we obtain fixed' sea ice, we will run a future scenario, for instance 2 x CO2 with and without prescribed sea ice, with the difference between these runs providing a measure as to what extent sea ice contributes to Arctic warming, including the seasonal and geographical imprint of the effects.

  4. Calcium carbonate as ikaite crystals in Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dieckmann, Gerhard S.; Nehrke, Gernot; Papadimitriou, Stathys; Göttlicher, Jörg; Steininger, Ralph; Kennedy, Hilary; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter; Thomas, David N.

    2008-04-01

    We report on the discovery of the mineral ikaite (CaCO3.6H2O) in sea-ice from the Southern Ocean. The precipitation of CaCO3 during the freezing of seawater has previously been predicted from thermodynamic modelling, indirect measurements, and has been documented in artificial sea ice during laboratory experiments but has not been reported for natural sea-ice. It is assumed that CaCO3 formation in sea ice may be important for a sea ice-driven carbon pump in ice-covered oceanic waters. Without direct evidence of CaCO3 precipitation in sea ice, its role in this and other processes has remained speculative. The discovery of CaCO3.6H2O crystals in natural sea ice provides the necessary evidence for the evaluation of previous assumptions and lays the foundation for further studies to help elucidate the role of ikaite in the carbon cycle of the seasonally sea ice-covered regions

  5. Sea-ice indicators of polar bear habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. L. Stern

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Nineteen subpopulations of polar bears (Ursus maritimus are found throughout the circumpolar Arctic, and in all regions they depend on sea ice as a platform for traveling, hunting, and breeding. Therefore polar bear phenology – the cycle of biological events – is linked to the timing of sea-ice retreat in spring and advance in fall. We analyzed the dates of sea-ice retreat and advance in all 19 polar bear subpopulation regions from 1979 to 2014, using daily sea-ice concentration data from satellite passive microwave instruments. We define the dates of sea-ice retreat and advance in a region as the dates when the area of sea ice drops below a certain threshold (retreat on its way to the summer minimum or rises above the threshold (advance on its way to the winter maximum. The threshold is chosen to be halfway between the historical (1979–2014 mean September and mean March sea-ice areas. In all 19 regions there is a trend toward earlier sea-ice retreat and later sea-ice advance. Trends generally range from −3 to −9 days decade−1 in spring and from +3 to +9 days decade−1 in fall, with larger trends in the Barents Sea and central Arctic Basin. The trends are not sensitive to the threshold. We also calculated the number of days per year that the sea-ice area exceeded the threshold (termed ice-covered days and the average sea-ice concentration from 1 June through 31 October. The number of ice-covered days is declining in all regions at the rate of −7 to −19 days decade−1, with larger trends in the Barents Sea and central Arctic Basin. The June–October sea-ice concentration is declining in all regions at rates ranging from −1 to −9 percent decade−1. These sea-ice metrics (or indicators of habitat change were designed to be useful for management agencies and for comparative purposes among subpopulations. We recommend that the National Climate Assessment include the timing of sea-ice retreat and advance in

  6. Sea-ice indicators of polar bear habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Harry L.; Laidre, Kristin L.

    2016-09-01

    Nineteen subpopulations of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are found throughout the circumpolar Arctic, and in all regions they depend on sea ice as a platform for traveling, hunting, and breeding. Therefore polar bear phenology - the cycle of biological events - is linked to the timing of sea-ice retreat in spring and advance in fall. We analyzed the dates of sea-ice retreat and advance in all 19 polar bear subpopulation regions from 1979 to 2014, using daily sea-ice concentration data from satellite passive microwave instruments. We define the dates of sea-ice retreat and advance in a region as the dates when the area of sea ice drops below a certain threshold (retreat) on its way to the summer minimum or rises above the threshold (advance) on its way to the winter maximum. The threshold is chosen to be halfway between the historical (1979-2014) mean September and mean March sea-ice areas. In all 19 regions there is a trend toward earlier sea-ice retreat and later sea-ice advance. Trends generally range from -3 to -9 days decade-1 in spring and from +3 to +9 days decade-1 in fall, with larger trends in the Barents Sea and central Arctic Basin. The trends are not sensitive to the threshold. We also calculated the number of days per year that the sea-ice area exceeded the threshold (termed ice-covered days) and the average sea-ice concentration from 1 June through 31 October. The number of ice-covered days is declining in all regions at the rate of -7 to -19 days decade-1, with larger trends in the Barents Sea and central Arctic Basin. The June-October sea-ice concentration is declining in all regions at rates ranging from -1 to -9 percent decade-1. These sea-ice metrics (or indicators of habitat change) were designed to be useful for management agencies and for comparative purposes among subpopulations. We recommend that the National Climate Assessment include the timing of sea-ice retreat and advance in future reports.

  7. Temporal dynamics of ikaite in experimental sea ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rysgaard, Søren; Wang, F.; Galley, R.J.

    2014-01-01

    Ikaite (CaCO3·6H2O) is a metastable phase of calcium carbonate that normally forms in a cold environment and/or under high pressure. Recently, ikaite crystals have been found in sea ice, and it has been suggested that their precipitation may play an important role in air–sea CO2 exchange in ice......-covered seas. Little is known, however, of the spatial and temporal dynamics of ikaite in sea ice. Here we present evidence for highly dynamic ikaite precipitation and dissolution in sea ice grown at an outdoor pool of the Sea-ice Environmental Research Facility (SERF) in Manitoba, Canada. During...... the experiment, ikaite precipitated in sea ice when temperatures were below −4 C, creating three distinct zones of ikaite concentrations: (1) a millimeter-to-centimeter-thin surface layer containing frost flowers and brine skim with bulk ikaite concentrations of > 2000 μmol kg−1, (2) an internal layer...

  8. Tropical Cyclone Track Convergence Patterns, Arctic Sea-Ice Loss, and Superstorm Sandy: Is There a Connection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, C. C.; Francis, J. A.; Byrne, J. M.; Graham, J. R.; McDaniel, S. A.

    2013-12-01

    weakening of the poleward temperature gradient in the northern hemisphere. Evidence will be presented suggesting that the anomalous Arctic warming following record sea-ice losses in summer 2012 contributed to the formation of the strong and persistent high-pressure blocking pattern that set up a steep pressure gradient from the mid-Atlantic to Nova Scotia. The result was the diversion of Sandy from the typical NE AB path to an unprecedented westward collision with the coast of New Jersey. The critical question now is whether the storm track intensification trend in recent years will combine with a consistent NA blocking high in fall to increase TC threats to the US northeast and Canadian maritime provinces?

  9. Reviews and syntheses: Ice acidification, the effects of ocean acidification on sea ice microbial communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. McMinn

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Sea ice algae, like some coastal and estuarine phytoplankton, are naturally exposed to a wider range of pH and CO2 concentrations than those in open marine seas. While climate change and ocean acidification (OA will impact pelagic communities, their effects on sea ice microbial communities remain unclear. Sea ice contains several distinct microbial communities, which are exposed to differing environmental conditions depending on their depth within the ice. Bottom communities mostly experience relatively benign bulk ocean properties, while interior brine and surface (infiltration communities experience much greater extremes. Most OA studies have examined the impacts on single sea ice algae species in culture. Although some studies examined the effects of OA alone, most examined the effects of OA and either light, nutrients or temperature. With few exceptions, increased CO2 concentration caused either no change or an increase in growth and/or photosynthesis. In situ studies on brine and surface algae also demonstrated a wide tolerance to increased and decreased pH and showed increased growth at higher CO2 concentrations. The short time period of most experiments (< 10 days, together with limited genetic diversity (i.e. use of only a single strain, however, has been identified as a limitation to a broader interpretation of the results. While there have been few studies on the effects of OA on the growth of marine bacterial communities in general, impacts appear to be minimal. In sea ice also, the few reports available suggest no negative impacts on bacterial growth or community richness. Sea ice ecosystems are ephemeral, melting and re-forming each year. Thus, for some part of each year organisms inhabiting the ice must also survive outside of the ice, either as part of the phytoplankton or as resting spores on the bottom. During these times, they will be exposed to the full range of co-stressors that pelagic organisms experience. Their ability

  10. A one stop website for sharing sea ice, ocean and ice sheet data over the polar regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Z.; Cheng, X.; Liu, J.; Hui, F.; Ding, Y.

    2017-12-01

    The polar regions, including the Arctic and Antarctic, are changing rapidly. Our capabilities to remotely monitor the state of the polar regions are increasing greatly. Satellite and airborne technologies have been deployed and further improvements are underway. Meanwhile, various algorithms have been developed to retrieve important parameters to maximize the effectiveness of available remote sensing data. These technologies and algorithms promise to greatly increase our understanding of variations in sea ice, ocean and ice sheet. However, so much information is scattered out there. It is challenging to find exactly what you are looking for by just searching it through the network. Therefore, we try to establish a common platform to sharing some key parameters for the polar regions. A group of scientists from Beijing Normal University and University at Albany developed a website as a "one-stop shop" for the current state of the polar regions. The website provides real-time (or near real-time) key parameters derived from a variety of operational satellites in an understandable, accessible and credible way. Three types of parameter, which are sea ice, ocean and ice sheet respectively, are shown and available to be downloaded in the website. Several individual parameters are contained in a specific type of parameter. The parameters of sea ice include sea ice concentration, sea ice thickness, melt pond, sea ice leads and sea ice drift. The ocean parameters contain sea surface temperature and sea surface wind. Ice sheet balance, ice velocity and some other parameters are classified into the type of ice sheet parameter. Some parameters are well-calibrated and available to be obtained from other websites, such as sea ice concentration, sea ice thickness sea surface temperature. Since these parameters are retrieved from different sensors, such as SSMI, AMSR2 etc., data format, spatial resolution of the parameters are not unified. We collected and reprocessed these

  11. Formation of brine channels in sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morawetz, Klaus; Thoms, Silke; Kutschan, Bernd

    2017-03-01

    Liquid salty micro-channels (brine) between growing ice platelets in sea ice are an important habitat for CO 2 -binding microalgaea with great impact on polar ecosystems. The structure formation of ice platelets is microscopically described and a phase field model is developed. The pattern formation during solidification of the two-dimensional interstitial liquid is considered by two coupled order parameters, the tetrahedricity as structure of ice and the salinity. The coupling and time evolution of these order parameters are described by a consistent set of three model parameters. They determine the velocity of the freezing process and the structure formation, the phase diagram, the super-cooling and super-heating region, and the specific heat. The model is used to calculate the short-time frozen micro-structures. The obtained morphological structure is compared with the vertical brine pore space obtained from X-ray computed tomography.

  12. The study of ikaite formation in sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Y.; Nehrke, G.; Dieckmann, G.; Völker, C.; Wolf-Gladrow, D.

    2012-04-01

    Ikaite (CaCO3.6H2O) is a metastable mineral of calcium carbonate, which is usually found in environments characterized by low temperature (below 5° C), high pH, high alkalinity, high concentration of phosphate and organic matter. Although synthetic CaCO3.6H2O was already known from laboratory studies in 1865, ikaite was first observed in nature in 1963. Recently, Dieckmann et al. (2008, 2010) discovered this mineral in sea ice, which at the same time, was the first direct proof of CaCO3 precipitation in sea ice. However, little is known about the mechanism of ikaite formation in sea ice. Our study focuses on how physico-chemical processes in sea ice affect the formation of ikaite. Experiments were set up at pH ranging from 8.5 to 9.0, and salinity ranging from 0 to 105 at 0 ° C, in order to examine the effect of pH, salinity and also phosphate on the formation of ikaite. Preliminary results read: (1) Experiments show that ikaite can form at different pH levels (8.5~9.0). At high pH, the induction time (the time when the crystals start to precipitate) is shorter which means high pH favours the formation of ikaite. This might be expected given higher CO32- concentrations and thus higher saturation levels for ikaite with increasing pH. (2) The results of experiments with different salinities show that ikaite can form over wide range of salinities from 0 to 105 both in Artificial Sea Water (ASW) and NaCl solution in the presence of phosphate. In ASW, the induction time increases with salinity from S = 0 to S =105; while in NaCl solution, the induction time first increases with salinity and then decreases with the further increase of salinity. Salinity plays both positive and negative roles in the formation of ikaite. On the one hand, the increase in salinity will increase the fraction of CO32- in DIC. On the other hand, the increase in salinity means more ions are involved in the solution, which will reduce the activities of Ca2+ and CO32-by forming ion pairs with

  13. The Sea-Ice Floe Size Distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, H. L., III; Schweiger, A. J. B.; Zhang, J.; Steele, M.

    2017-12-01

    The size distribution of ice floes in the polar seas affects the dynamics and thermodynamics of the ice cover and its interaction with the ocean and atmosphere. Ice-ocean models are now beginning to include the floe size distribution (FSD) in their simulations. In order to characterize seasonal changes of the FSD and provide validation data for our ice-ocean model, we calculated the FSD in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas over two spring-summer-fall seasons (2013 and 2014) using more than 250 cloud-free visible-band scenes from the MODIS sensors on NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites, identifying nearly 250,000 ice floes between 2 and 30 km in diameter. We found that the FSD follows a power-law distribution at all locations, with a seasonally varying exponent that reflects floe break-up in spring, loss of smaller floes in summer, and the return of larger floes after fall freeze-up. We extended the results to floe sizes from 10 m to 2 km at selected time/space locations using more than 50 high-resolution radar and visible-band satellite images. Our analysis used more data and applied greater statistical rigor than any previous study of the FSD. The incorporation of the FSD into our ice-ocean model resulted in reduced sea-ice thickness, mainly in the marginal ice zone, which improved the simulation of sea-ice extent and yielded an earlier ice retreat. We also examined results from 17 previous studies of the FSD, most of which report power-law FSDs but with widely varying exponents. It is difficult to reconcile the range of results due to different study areas, seasons, and methods of analysis. We review the power-law representation of the FSD in these studies and discuss some mathematical details that are important to consider in any future analysis.

  14. Observational Evidence for Enhanced Greenhouse Effect Reinforcing Wintertime Arctic Amplification and Sea Ice Melting Onset

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Y.; Liang, S.

    2017-12-01

    Despite an apparent hiatus in global warming, the Arctic climate continues to experience unprecedented changes. Summer sea ice is retreating at an accelerated rate, and surface temperatures in this region are rising at a rate double that of the global average, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification. Although a lot of efforts have been made, the causes this unprecedented phenomenon remain unclear and are subjects of considerable debate. In this study, we report strong observational evidence, for the first time from long-term (1984-2014) spatially complete satellite records, that increased cloudiness and atmospheric water vapor in winter and spring have caused an extraordinary downward longwave radiative flux to the ice surface, which may then amplify the Arctic wintertime ice-surface warming. In addition, we also provide observed evidence that it is quite likely the enhancement of the wintertime greenhouse effect caused by water vapor and cloudiness has advanced the time of onset of ice melting in mid-May through inhibiting sea-ice refreezing in the winter and accelerating the pre-melting process in the spring, and in turn triggered the positive sea-ice albedo feedback process and accelerated the sea ice melting in the summer.

  15. On the nature of the sea ice albedo feedback in simple models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, W; Wettlaufer, J S

    2014-08-01

    We examine the nature of the ice-albedo feedback in a long-standing approach used in the dynamic-thermodynamic modeling of sea ice. The central issue examined is how the evolution of the ice area is treated when modeling a partial ice cover using a two-category-thickness scheme; thin sea ice and open water in one category and "thick" sea ice in the second. The problem with the scheme is that the area evolution is handled in a manner that violates the basic rules of calculus, which leads to a neglected area evolution term that is equivalent to neglecting a leading-order latent heat flux. We demonstrate the consequences by constructing energy balance models with a fractional ice cover and studying them under the influence of increased radiative forcing. It is shown that the neglected flux is particularly important in a decaying ice cover approaching the transitions to seasonal or ice-free conditions. Clearly, a mishandling of the evolution of the ice area has leading-order effects on the ice-albedo feedback. Accordingly, it may be of considerable importance to reexamine the relevant climate model schemes and to begin the process of converting them to fully resolve the sea ice thickness distribution in a manner such as remapping, which does not in principle suffer from the pathology we describe.

  16. Enhanced wintertime greenhouse effect reinforcing Arctic amplification and initial sea-ice melting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Yunfeng; Liang, Shunlin; Chen, Xiaona; He, Tao; Wang, Dongdong; Cheng, Xiao

    2017-08-16

    The speeds of both Arctic surface warming and sea-ice shrinking have accelerated over recent decades. However, the causes of this unprecedented phenomenon remain unclear and are subjects of considerable debate. In this study, we report strong observational evidence, for the first time from long-term (1984-2014) spatially complete satellite records, that increased cloudiness and atmospheric water vapor in winter and spring have caused an extraordinary downward longwave radiative flux to the ice surface, which may then amplify the Arctic wintertime ice-surface warming. In addition, we also provide observed evidence that it is quite likely the enhancement of the wintertime greenhouse effect caused by water vapor and cloudiness has advanced the time of onset of ice melting in mid-May through inhibiting sea-ice refreezing in the winter and accelerating the pre-melting process in the spring, and in turn triggered the positive sea-ice albedo feedback process and accelerated the sea ice melting in the summer.

  17. Changes in Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice as a Microcosm of Global Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.

    2014-01-01

    Polar sea ice is a key element of the climate system and has now been monitored through satellite observations for over three and a half decades. The satellite observations reveal considerable information about polar ice and its changes since the late 1970s, including a prominent downward trend in Arctic sea ice coverage and a much lesser upward trend in Antarctic sea ice coverage, illustrative of the important fact that climate change entails spatial contrasts. The decreasing ice coverage in the Arctic corresponds well with contemporaneous Arctic warming and exhibits particularly large decreases in the summers of 2007 and 2012, influenced by both preconditioning and atmospheric conditions. The increasing ice coverage in the Antarctic is not as readily explained, but spatial differences in the Antarctic trends suggest a possible connection with atmospheric circulation changes that have perhaps been influenced by the Antarctic ozone hole. The changes in the polar ice covers and the issues surrounding those changes have many commonalities with broader climate changes and their surrounding issues, allowing the sea ice changes to be viewed in some important ways as a microcosm of global climate change.

  18. Seasonal sea ice predictions for the Arctic based on assimilation of remotely sensed observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kauker, F.; Kaminski, T.; Ricker, R.; Toudal-Pedersen, L.; Dybkjaer, G.; Melsheimer, C.; Eastwood, S.; Sumata, H.; Karcher, M.; Gerdes, R.

    2015-10-01

    The recent thinning and shrinking of the Arctic sea ice cover has increased the interest in seasonal sea ice forecasts. Typical tools for such forecasts are numerical models of the coupled ocean sea ice system such as the North Atlantic/Arctic Ocean Sea Ice Model (NAOSIM). The model uses as input the initial state of the system and the atmospheric boundary condition over the forecasting period. This study investigates the potential of remotely sensed ice thickness observations in constraining the initial model state. For this purpose it employs a variational assimilation system around NAOSIM and the Alfred Wegener Institute's CryoSat-2 ice thickness product in conjunction with the University of Bremen's snow depth product and the OSI SAF ice concentration and sea surface temperature products. We investigate the skill of predictions of the summer ice conditions starting in March for three different years. Straightforward assimilation of the above combination of data streams results in slight improvements over some regions (especially in the Beaufort Sea) but degrades the over-all fit to independent observations. A considerable enhancement of forecast skill is demonstrated for a bias correction scheme for the CryoSat-2 ice thickness product that uses a spatially varying scaling factor.

  19. High interannual variability of sea ice thickness in the Arctic region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laxon, Seymour; Peacock, Neil; Smith, Doug

    2003-10-30

    Possible future changes in Arctic sea ice cover and thickness, and consequent changes in the ice-albedo feedback, represent one of the largest uncertainties in the prediction of future temperature rise. Knowledge of the natural variability of sea ice thickness is therefore critical for its representation in global climate models. Numerical simulations suggest that Arctic ice thickness varies primarily on decadal timescales owing to changes in wind and ocean stresses on the ice, but observations have been unable to provide a synoptic view of sea ice thickness, which is required to validate the model results. Here we use an eight-year time-series of Arctic ice thickness, derived from satellite altimeter measurements of ice freeboard, to determine the mean thickness field and its variability from 65 degrees N to 81.5 degrees N. Our data reveal a high-frequency interannual variability in mean Arctic ice thickness that is dominated by changes in the amount of summer melt, rather than by changes in circulation. Our results suggest that a continued increase in melt season length would lead to further thinning of Arctic sea ice.

  20. Middle Range Sea Ice Prediction System of Voyage Environmental Information System in Arctic Sea Route

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, H. S.

    2017-12-01

    Due to global warming, the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is melting dramatically in summer, which is providing a new opportunity to exploit the Northern Sea Route (NSR) connecting Asia and Europe ship route. Recent increases in logistics transportation through NSR and resource development reveal the possible threats of marine pollution and marine transportation accidents without real-time navigation system. To develop a safe Voyage Environmental Information System (VEIS) for vessels operating, the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) which is supported by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Korea has initiated the development of short-term and middle range prediction system for the sea ice concentration (SIC) and sea ice thickness (SIT) in NSR since 2014. The sea ice prediction system of VEIS consists of AMSR2 satellite composite images (a day), short-term (a week) prediction system, and middle range (a month) prediction system using a statistical method with re-analysis data (TOPAZ) and short-term predicted model data. In this study, the middle range prediction system for the SIC and SIT in NSR is calibrated with another middle range predicted atmospheric and oceanic data (NOAA CFSv2). The system predicts one month SIC and SIT on a daily basis, as validated with dynamic composite SIC data extracted from AMSR2 L2 satellite images.

  1. Heat flux variations over sea-ice observed at the coastal area of the Sejong Station, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, S.; Choi, T.; Kim, S.

    2012-12-01

    This study presents variations of sensible heat flux and latent heat flux over sea-ice observed in 2011 from the 10-m flux tower located at the coast of the Sejong Station on King George Island, Antarctica. A period from June to November was divided into three parts: "Freezing", "Frozen", and "Melting" periods based on daily monitoring of sea state and hourly photos looking at the Marian Cove in front of the Sejong Station. The division of periods enabled us to look into the heat flux variations depending on the sea-ice conditions. Over freezing sea surface during the freezing period of late June, daily mean sensible heat flux was -11.9 Wm-2 and daily mean latent heat flux was +16.3 Wm-2. Over the frozen sea-ice, daily mean sensible heat flux was -10.4 Wm-2 while daily mean latent heat flux was +2.4 Wm-2. During the melting period of mid-October to early November, magnitudes of sensible heat flux increased to -14.2 Wm-2 and latent heat flux also increased to +13.5 Wm-2. In short, latent heat flux was usually upward over sea-ice most of the time while sensible heat flux was downward from atmosphere to sea-ice. Magnitudes of the fluxes were small but increased when freezing or melting of sea-ice was occurring. Especially, latent heat flux increased five to six times compared to that of "frozen" period implying that early melting of sea-ice may cause five to six times larger supply of moisture to the atmosphere.

  2. Complex yet translucent: the optical properties of sea ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perovich, Donald K.

    2003-01-01

    Sea ice is a naturally occurring material with an intricate and highly variable structure consisting of ice platelets, brine pockets, air bubbles, and precipitated salt crystals. The optical properties of sea ice are directly dependent on this ice structure. Because sea ice is a material that exists at its salinity determined freezing point, its structure and optical properties are significantly affected by small changes in temperature. Understanding the interaction of sunlight with sea ice is important to a diverse array of scientific problems, including those in polar climatology. A key optical parameter for climatological studies is the albedo, the fraction of the incident sunlight that is reflected. The albedo of sea ice is quite sensitive to surface conditions. The presence of a snow cover enhances the albedo, while surface meltwater reduces the albedo. Radiative transfer in sea ice is a combination of absorption and scattering. Differences in the magnitude of sea ice optical properties are ascribable primarily to differences in scattering, while spectral variations are mainly a result of absorption. Physical changes that enhance scattering, such as the formation of air bubbles due to brine drainage, result in more light reflection and less transmission

  3. Radiative transfer in atmosphere-sea ice-ocean system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jin, Z.; Stamnes, K.; Weeks, W.F. [Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK (United States); Tsay, S.C. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (United States)

    1996-04-01

    Radiative energy is critical in controlling the heat and mass balance of sea ice, which significantly affects the polar climate. In the polar oceans, light transmission through the atmosphere and sea ice is essential to the growth of plankton and algae and, consequently, to the microbial community both in the ice and in the ocean. Therefore, the study of radiative transfer in the polar atmosphere, sea ice, and ocean system is of particular importance. Lacking a properly coupled radiative transfer model for the atmosphere-sea ice-ocean system, a consistent study of the radiative transfer in the polar atmosphere, snow, sea ice, and ocean system has not been undertaken before. The radiative transfer processes in the atmosphere and in the ice and ocean have been treated separately. Because the radiation processes in the atmosphere, sea ice, and ocean depend on each other, this separate treatment is inconsistent. To study the radiative interaction between the atmosphere, clouds, snow, sea ice, and ocean, a radiative transfer model with consistent treatment of radiation in the coupled system is needed and is under development.

  4. Coordinated Mapping of Sea Ice Deformation Features with Autonomous Vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maksym, T.; Williams, G. D.; Singh, H.; Weissling, B.; Anderson, J.; Maki, T.; Ackley, S. F.

    2016-12-01

    Decreases in summer sea ice extent in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas has lead to a transition from a largely perennial ice cover, to a seasonal ice cover. This drives shifts in sea ice production, dynamics, ice types, and thickness distribution. To examine how the processes driving ice advance might also impact the morphology of the ice cover, a coordinated ice mapping effort was undertaken during a field campaign in the Beaufort Sea in October, 2015. Here, we present observations of sea ice draft topography from six missions of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle run under different ice types and deformation features observed during autumn freeze-up. Ice surface features were also mapped during coordinated drone photogrammetric missions over each site. We present preliminary results of a comparison between sea ice surface topography and ice underside morphology for a range of sample ice types, including hummocked multiyear ice, rubble fields, young ice ridges and rafts, and consolidated pancake ice. These data are compared to prior observations of ice morphological features from deformed Antarctic sea ice. Such data will be useful for improving parameterizations of sea ice redistribution during deformation, and for better constraining estimates of airborne or satellite sea ice thickness.

  5. Survival and breeding of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea in relation to sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regehr, E.V.; Hunter, C.M.; Caswell, H.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Stirling, I.

    2010-01-01

    1. Observed and predicted declines in Arctic sea ice have raised concerns about marine mammals. In May 2008, the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed polar bears (Ursus maritimus) - one of the most ice-dependent marine mammals - as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. 2. We evaluated the effects of sea ice conditions on vital rates (survival and breeding probabilities) for polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea. Although sea ice declines in this and other regions of the polar basin have been among the greatest in the Arctic, to date population-level effects of sea ice loss on polar bears have only been identified in western Hudson Bay, near the southern limit of the species' range. 3. We estimated vital rates using multistate capture-recapture models that classified individuals by sex, age and reproductive category. We used multimodel inference to evaluate a range of statistical models, all of which were structurally based on the polar bear life cycle. We estimated parameters by model averaging, and developed a parametric bootstrap procedure to quantify parameter uncertainty. 4. In the most supported models, polar bear survival declined with an increasing number of days per year that waters over the continental shelf were ice free. In 2001-2003, the ice-free period was relatively short (mean 101 days) and adult female survival was high (0 ∙ 96-0 ∙ 99, depending on reproductive state). In 2004 and 2005, the ice-free period was longer (mean 135 days) and adult female survival was low (0 ∙ 73-0 ∙ 79, depending on reproductive state). Breeding rates and cub litter survival also declined with increasing duration of the ice-free period. Confidence intervals on vital rate estimates were wide. 5. The effects of sea ice loss on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea may apply to polar bear populations in other portions of the polar basin that have similar sea ice dynamics and have experienced similar, or more severe, sea ice declines. Our findings

  6. Survival and breeding of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea in relation to sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regehr, Eric V; Hunter, Christine M; Caswell, Hal; Amstrup, Steven C; Stirling, Ian

    2010-01-01

    1. Observed and predicted declines in Arctic sea ice have raised concerns about marine mammals. In May 2008, the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed polar bears (Ursus maritimus) - one of the most ice-dependent marine mammals - as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. 2. We evaluated the effects of sea ice conditions on vital rates (survival and breeding probabilities) for polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea. Although sea ice declines in this and other regions of the polar basin have been among the greatest in the Arctic, to date population-level effects of sea ice loss on polar bears have only been identified in western Hudson Bay, near the southern limit of the species' range. 3. We estimated vital rates using multistate capture-recapture models that classified individuals by sex, age and reproductive category. We used multimodel inference to evaluate a range of statistical models, all of which were structurally based on the polar bear life cycle. We estimated parameters by model averaging, and developed a parametric bootstrap procedure to quantify parameter uncertainty. 4. In the most supported models, polar bear survival declined with an increasing number of days per year that waters over the continental shelf were ice free. In 2001-2003, the ice-free period was relatively short (mean 101 days) and adult female survival was high (0.96-0.99, depending on reproductive state). In 2004 and 2005, the ice-free period was longer (mean 135 days) and adult female survival was low (0.73-0.79, depending on reproductive state). Breeding rates and cub litter survival also declined with increasing duration of the ice-free period. Confidence intervals on vital rate estimates were wide. 5. The effects of sea ice loss on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea may apply to polar bear populations in other portions of the polar basin that have similar sea ice dynamics and have experienced similar, or more severe, sea ice declines. Our findings therefore are

  7. Tropically driven and externally forced patterns of Antarctic sea ice change: reconciling observed and modeled trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, David P.; Deser, Clara

    2017-09-01

    Recent work suggests that natural variability has played a significant role in the increase of Antarctic sea ice extent during 1979-2013. The ice extent has responded strongly to atmospheric circulation changes, including a deepened Amundsen Sea Low (ASL), which in part has been driven by tropical variability. Nonetheless, this increase has occurred in the context of externally forced climate change, and it has been difficult to reconcile observed and modeled Antarctic sea ice trends. To understand observed-model disparities, this work defines the internally driven and radiatively forced patterns of Antarctic sea ice change and exposes potential model biases using results from two sets of historical experiments of a coupled climate model compared with observations. One ensemble is constrained only by external factors such as greenhouse gases and stratospheric ozone, while the other explicitly accounts for the influence of tropical variability by specifying observed SST anomalies in the eastern tropical Pacific. The latter experiment reproduces the deepening of the ASL, which drives an increase in regional ice extent due to enhanced ice motion and sea surface cooling. However, the overall sea ice trend in every ensemble member of both experiments is characterized by ice loss and is dominated by the forced pattern, as given by the ensemble-mean of the first experiment. This pervasive ice loss is associated with a strong warming of the ocean mixed layer, suggesting that the ocean model does not locally store or export anomalous heat efficiently enough to maintain a surface environment conducive to sea ice expansion. The pervasive upper-ocean warming, not seen in observations, likely reflects ocean mean-state biases.

  8. Tropically driven and externally forced patterns of Antarctic sea ice change: reconciling observed and modeled trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, David P.; Deser, Clara

    2018-06-01

    Recent work suggests that natural variability has played a significant role in the increase of Antarctic sea ice extent during 1979-2013. The ice extent has responded strongly to atmospheric circulation changes, including a deepened Amundsen Sea Low (ASL), which in part has been driven by tropical variability. Nonetheless, this increase has occurred in the context of externally forced climate change, and it has been difficult to reconcile observed and modeled Antarctic sea ice trends. To understand observed-model disparities, this work defines the internally driven and radiatively forced patterns of Antarctic sea ice change and exposes potential model biases using results from two sets of historical experiments of a coupled climate model compared with observations. One ensemble is constrained only by external factors such as greenhouse gases and stratospheric ozone, while the other explicitly accounts for the influence of tropical variability by specifying observed SST anomalies in the eastern tropical Pacific. The latter experiment reproduces the deepening of the ASL, which drives an increase in regional ice extent due to enhanced ice motion and sea surface cooling. However, the overall sea ice trend in every ensemble member of both experiments is characterized by ice loss and is dominated by the forced pattern, as given by the ensemble-mean of the first experiment. This pervasive ice loss is associated with a strong warming of the ocean mixed layer, suggesting that the ocean model does not locally store or export anomalous heat efficiently enough to maintain a surface environment conducive to sea ice expansion. The pervasive upper-ocean warming, not seen in observations, likely reflects ocean mean-state biases.

  9. Linking Regional Winter Sea Ice Thickness and Surface Roughness to Spring Melt Pond Fraction on Landfast Arctic Sea Ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sasha Nasonova

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The Arctic sea ice cover has decreased strongly in extent, thickness, volume and age in recent decades. The melt season presents a significant challenge for sea ice forecasting due to uncertainty associated with the role of surface melt ponds in ice decay at regional scales. This study quantifies the relationships of spring melt pond fraction (fp with both winter sea ice roughness and thickness, for landfast first-year sea ice (FYI and multiyear sea ice (MYI. In 2015, airborne measurements of winter sea ice thickness and roughness, as well as high-resolution optical data of melt pond covered sea ice, were collected along two ~5.2 km long profiles over FYI- and MYI-dominated regions in the Canadian Arctic. Statistics of winter sea ice thickness and roughness were compared to spring fp using three data aggregation approaches, termed object and hybrid-object (based on image segments, and regularly spaced grid-cells. The hybrid-based aggregation approach showed strongest associations because it considers the morphology of the ice as well as footprints of the sensors used to measure winter sea ice thickness and roughness. Using the hybrid-based data aggregation approach it was found that winter sea ice thickness and roughness are related to spring fp. A stronger negative correlation was observed between FYI thickness and fp (Spearman rs = −0.85 compared to FYI roughness and fp (rs = −0.52. The association between MYI thickness and fp was also negative (rs = −0.56, whereas there was no association between MYI roughness and fp. 47% of spring fp variation for FYI and MYI can be explained by mean thickness. Thin sea ice is characterized by low surface roughness allowing for widespread ponding in the spring (high fp whereas thick sea ice has undergone dynamic thickening and roughening with topographic features constraining melt water into deeper channels (low fp. This work provides an important contribution towards the parameterizations of fp in

  10. A Large Eddy Simulation Study of Heat Entrainment under Sea Ice in the Canadian Arctic Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramudu, E.; Yang, D.; Gelderloos, R.; Meneveau, C. V.; Gnanadesikan, A.

    2016-12-01

    Sea ice cover in the Arctic has declined rapidly in recent decades. The much faster than projected retreat suggests that climate models may be missing some key processes, or that these processes are not accurately represented. The entrainment of heat from the mixed layer by small-scale turbulence is one such process. In the Canadian Basin of the Arctic Ocean, relatively warm Pacific Summer Water (PSW) resides at the base of the mixed layer. With an increasing influx of PSW, the upper ocean in the Canadian Basin has been getting warmer and fresher since the early 2000s. While studies show a correlation between sea ice reduction and an increase in PSW temperature, others argue that PSW intrusions in the Canadian Basin cannot affect sea ice thickness because the strongly-stratified halocline prevents heat from the PSW layer from being entrained into the mixed layer and up to the basal ice surface. In this study, we try to resolve this conundrum by simulating the turbulent entrainment of heat from the PSW layer to a moving basal ice surface using large eddy simulation (LES). The LES model is based on a high-fidelity spectral approach on horizontal planes, and includes a Lagrangian dynamic subgrid model that reduces the need for empirical inputs for subgrid-scale viscosities and diffusivities. This LES tool allows us to investigate physical processes in the mixed layer at a very fine scale. We focus our study on summer conditions, when ice is melting, and show for a range of ice-drift velocities, halocline temperatures, and halocline salinity gradients characteristic of the Canadian Basin how much heat can be entrained from the PSW layer to the sea ice. Our results can be used to improve parameterizations of vertical heat flux under sea ice in coarse-grid ocean and climate models.

  11. Validation of Airborne FMCW Radar Measurements of Snow Thickness Over Sea Ice in Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galin, Natalia; Worby, Anthony; Markus, Thorsten; Leuschen, Carl; Gogineni, Prasad

    2012-01-01

    Antarctic sea ice and its snow cover are integral components of the global climate system, yet many aspects of their vertical dimensions are poorly understood, making their representation in global climate models poor. Remote sensing is the key to monitoring the dynamic nature of sea ice and its snow cover. Reliable and accurate snow thickness data are currently a highly sought after data product. Remotely sensed snow thickness measurements can provide an indication of precipitation levels, predicted to increase with effects of climate change in the polar regions. Airborne techniques provide a means for regional-scale estimation of snow depth and distribution. Accurate regional-scale snow thickness data will also facilitate an increase in the accuracy of sea ice thickness retrieval from satellite altimeter freeboard estimates. The airborne data sets are easier to validate with in situ measurements and are better suited to validating satellite algorithms when compared with in situ techniques. This is primarily due to two factors: better chance of getting coincident in situ and airborne data sets and the tractability of comparison between an in situ data set and the airborne data set averaged over the footprint of the antennas. A 28-GHz frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar loaned by the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets to the Australian Antarctic Division is used to measure snow thickness over sea ice in East Antarctica. Provided with the radar design parameters, the expected performance parameters of the radar are summarized. The necessary conditions for unambiguous identification of the airsnow and snowice layers for the radar are presented. Roughnesses of the snow and ice surfaces are found to be dominant determinants in the effectiveness of layer identification for this radar. Finally, this paper presents the first in situ validated snow thickness estimates over sea ice in Antarctica derived from an FMCW radar on a helicopterborne platform.

  12. Record Low Sea-Ice Concentration in the Central Arctic during Summer 2010

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jinping ZHAO; David BARBER; Shugang ZHANG; Qinghua YANG; Xiaoyu WANG; Hongjie XIE

    2018-01-01

    The Arctic sea-ice extent has shown a declining trend over the past 30 years.Ice coverage reached historic minima in 2007 and again in 2012.This trend has recently been assessed to be unique over at least the last 1450 years.In the summer of 2010,a very low sea-ice concentration (SIC) appeared at high Arctic latitudes—even lower than that of surrounding pack ice at lower latitudes.This striking low ice concentration—referred to here as a record low ice concentration in the central Arctic (CARLIC)—is unique in our analysis period of 2003-15,and has not been previously reported in the literature.The CARLIC was not the result of ice melt,because sea ice was still quite thick based on in-situ ice thickness measurements.Instead,divergent ice drift appears to have been responsible for the CARLIC.A high correlation between SIC and wind stress curl suggests that the sea ice drift during the summer of 2010 responded strongly to the regional wind forcing.The drift trajectories of ice buoys exhibited a transpolar drift in the Atlantic sector and an eastward drift in the Pacific sector,which appeared to benefit the CARLIC in 2010.Under these conditions,more solar energy can penetrate into the open water,increasing melt through increased heat flux to the ocean.We speculate that this divergence of sea ice could occur more often in the coming decades,and impact on hemispheric SIC and feed back to the climate.

  13. Biogeochemical Impact of Snow Cover and Cyclonic Intrusions on the Winter Weddell Sea Ice Pack

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tison, J.-L.; Schwegmann, S.; Dieckmann, G.; Rintala, J.-M.; Meyer, H.; Moreau, S.; Vancoppenolle, M.; Nomura, D.; Engberg, S.; Blomster, L. J.; Hendrickx, S.; Uhlig, C.; Luhtanen, A.-M.; de Jong, J.; Janssens, J.; Carnat, G.; Zhou, J.; Delille, B.

    2017-12-01

    Sea ice is a dynamic biogeochemical reactor and a double interface actively interacting with both the atmosphere and the ocean. However, proper understanding of its annual impact on exchanges, and therefore potentially on the climate, notably suffer from the paucity of autumnal and winter data sets. Here we present the results of physical and biogeochemical investigations on winter Antarctic pack ice in the Weddell Sea (R. V. Polarstern AWECS cruise, June-August 2013) which are compared with those from two similar studies conducted in the area in 1986 and 1992. The winter 2013 was characterized by a warm sea ice cover due to the combined effects of deep snow and frequent warm cyclones events penetrating southward from the open Southern Ocean. These conditions were favorable to high ice permeability and cyclic events of brine movements within the sea ice cover (brine tubes), favoring relatively high chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentrations. We discuss the timing of this algal activity showing that arguments can be presented in favor of continued activity during the winter due to the specific physical conditions. Large-scale sea ice model simulations also suggest a context of increasingly deep snow, warm ice, and large brine fractions across the three observational years, despite the fact that the model is forced with a snowfall climatology. This lends support to the claim that more severe Antarctic sea ice conditions, characterized by a longer ice season, thicker, and more concentrated ice are sufficient to increase the snow depth and, somehow counterintuitively, to warm the ice.

  14. Small scale variability of snow properties on Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wever, Nander; Leonard, Katherine; Paul, Stephan; Jacobi, Hans-Werner; Proksch, Martin; Lehning, Michael

    2016-04-01

    Snow on sea ice plays an important role in air-ice-sea interactions, as snow accumulation may for example increase the albedo. Snow is also able to smooth the ice surface, thereby reducing the surface roughness, while at the same time it may generate new roughness elements by interactions with the wind. Snow density is a key property in many processes, for example by influencing the thermal conductivity of the snow layer, radiative transfer inside the snow as well as the effects of aerodynamic forcing on the snowpack. By comparing snow density and grain size from snow pits and snow micro penetrometer (SMP) measurements, highly resolved density and grain size profiles were acquired during two subsequent cruises of the RV Polarstern in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica, between June and October 2013. During the first cruise, SMP measurements were done along two approximately 40 m transects with a horizontal resolution of approximately 30 cm. During the second cruise, one transect was made with approximately 7.5 m resolution over a distance of 500 m. Average snow densities are about 300 kg/m3, but the analysis also reveals a high spatial variability in snow density on sea ice in both horizontal and vertical direction, ranging from roughly 180 to 360 kg/m3. This variability is expressed by coherent snow structures over several meters. On the first cruise, the measurements were accompanied by terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) on an area of 50x50 m2. The comparison with the TLS data indicates that the spatial variability is exhibiting similar spatial patterns as deviations in surface topology. This suggests a strong influence from surface processes, for example wind, on the temporal development of density or grain size profiles. The fundamental relationship between variations in snow properties, surface roughness and changes therein as investigated in this study is interpreted with respect to large-scale ice movement and the mass balance.

  15. Polar bear population dynamics in the southern Beaufort Sea during a period of sea ice decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromaghin, Jeffrey F; Mcdonald, Trent L; Stirling, Ian; Derocher, Andrew E; Richardson, Evan S; Regehr, Eric V; Douglas, David C; Durner, George M; Atwood, Todd; Amstrup, Steven C

    2015-04-01

    In the southern Beaufort Sea of the United States and Canada, prior investigations have linked declines in summer sea ice to reduced physical condition, growth, and survival of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Combined with projections of population decline due to continued climate warming and the ensuing loss of sea ice habitat, those findings contributed to the 2008 decision to list the species as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Here, we used mark-recapture models to investigate the population dynamics of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea from 2001 to 2010, years during which the spatial and temporal extent of summer sea ice generally declined. Low survival from 2004 through 2006 led to a 25-50% decline in abundance. We hypothesize that low survival during this period resulted from (1) unfavorable ice conditions that limited access to prey during multiple seasons; and possibly, (2) low prey abundance. For reasons that are not clear, survival of adults and cubs began to improve in 2007 and abundance was comparatively stable from 2008 to 2010, with ~900 bears in 2010 (90% CI 606-1212). However, survival of subadult bears declined throughout the entire period. Reduced spatial and temporal availability of sea ice is expected to increasingly force population dynamics of polar bears as the climate continues to warm. However, in the short term, our findings suggest that factors other than sea ice can influence survival. A refined understanding of the ecological mechanisms underlying polar bear population dynamics is necessary to improve projections of their future status and facilitate development of management strategies.

  16. Transnational Sea-Ice Transport in a Warmer, More Mobile Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, R.; Tremblay, B.; Pfirman, S. L.; DeRepentigny, P.

    2015-12-01

    As the Arctic sea ice thins, summer ice continues to shrink in its area, and multi-year ice becomes rarer, winter ice is not disappearing from the Arctic Basin. Rather, it is ever more dominated by first year ice. And each summer, as the total coverage withdraws, the first year ice is able travel faster and farther, carrying any ice-rafted material with it. Micro-organisms, sediments, pollutants and river runoff all move across the Arctic each summer and are deposited hundreds of kilometers from their origins. Analyzing Arctic sea ice drift patterns in the context of the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of the Arctic nations raises concerns about the changing fate of "alien" ice which forms within one country's EEZ, then drifts and melts in another country's EEZ. We have developed a new data set from satellite-based ice-drift data that allows us to track groups of ice "pixels" forward from their origin to their destination, or backwards from their melting location to their point of formation. The software has been integrated with model output to extend the tracking of sea ice to include climate projections. Results indicate, for example, that Russian sea ice dominates "imports" to the EEZ of Norway, as expected, but with increasing ice mobility it is also is exported into the EEZs of other countries, including Canada and the United States. Regions of potential conflict are identified, including several national borders with extensive and/or changing transboundary sea ice transport. These data are a starting point for discussion of transborder questions raised by "alien" ice and the material it may import from one nation's EEZ to another's.

  17. Polar bear population dynamics in the southern Beaufort Sea during a period of sea ice decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; McDonald, Trent L.; Stirling, Ian; Derocher, Andrew E.; Richardson, Evan S.; Regehr, Eric V.; Douglas, David C.; Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Amstrup, Steven C.

    2015-01-01

    In the southern Beaufort Sea of the United States and Canada, prior investigations have linked declines in summer sea ice to reduced physical condition, growth, and survival of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Combined with projections of population decline due to continued climate warming and the ensuing loss of sea ice habitat, those findings contributed to the 2008 decision to list the species as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Here, we used mark–recapture models to investigate the population dynamics of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea from 2001 to 2010, years during which the spatial and temporal extent of summer sea ice generally declined. Low survival from 2004 through 2006 led to a 25–50% decline in abundance. We hypothesize that low survival during this period resulted from (1) unfavorable ice conditions that limited access to prey during multiple seasons; and possibly, (2) low prey abundance. For reasons that are not clear, survival of adults and cubs began to improve in 2007 and abundance was comparatively stable from 2008 to 2010, with ~900 bears in 2010 (90% CI 606–1212). However, survival of subadult bears declined throughout the entire period. Reduced spatial and temporal availability of sea ice is expected to increasingly force population dynamics of polar bears as the climate continues to warm. However, in the short term, our findings suggest that factors other than sea ice can influence survival. A refined understanding of the ecological mechanisms underlying polar bear population dynamics is necessary to improve projections of their future status and facilitate development of management strategies.

  18. Dynamics of sea-ice biogeochemistry in the coastal Antarctica during transition from summer to winter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suhas Shetye

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The seasonality of carbon dioxide partial pressure (pCO2, air-sea CO2 fluxes and associated environmental parameters were investigated in the Antarctic coastal waters. The in-situ survey was carried out from the austral summer till the onset of winter (January 2012, February 2010 and March 2009 in the Enderby Basin. Rapid decrease in pCO2 was evident under the sea-ice cover in January, when both water column and sea-ice algal activity resulted in the removal of nutrients and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC and increase in pH. The major highlight of this study is the shift in the dominant biogeochemical factors from summer to early winter. Nutrient limitation (low Si/N, sea-ice cover, low photosynthetically active radiation (PAR, deep mixed layer and high upwelling velocity contributed towards higher pCO2 during March (early winter. CO2 fluxes suggest that the Enderby Basin acts as a strong CO2 sink during January (−81 mmol m−2 d−1, however it acts as a weak sink of CO2 with −2.4 and −1.7 mmol m−2 d−1 during February and March, respectively. The present work, concludes that sea ice plays a dual role towards climate change, by decreasing sea surface pCO2 in summer and enhancing in early winter. Our observations emphasize the need to address seasonal sea-ice driven CO2 flux dynamics in assessing Antarctic contributions to the global oceanic CO2 budget.

  19. Space use of a dominant Arctic vertebrate: Effects of prey, sea ice, and land on Pacific walrus resource selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beatty, William; Jay, Chadwick V.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Taylor, Rebecca L.; Blanchard, Arny L.; Jewett, Stephen C.

    2016-01-01

    Sea ice dominates marine ecosystems in the Arctic, and recent reductions in sea ice may alter food webs throughout the region. Sea ice loss may also stress Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens), which feed on benthic macroinvertebrates in the Bering and Chukchi seas. However, no studies have examined the effects of sea ice on foraging Pacific walrus space use patterns. We tested a series of hypotheses that examined walrus foraging resource selection as a function of proximity to resting substrates and prey biomass. We quantified walrus prey biomass with 17 benthic invertebrate families, which included bivalves, polychaetes, amphipods, tunicates, and sipunculids. We included covariates for distance to sea ice and distance to land, and systematically developed a series of candidate models to examine interactions among benthic prey biomass and resting substrates. We ranked candidate models with Bayesian Information Criterion and made inferences on walrus resource selection based on the top-ranked model. Based on the top model, biomass of the bivalve family Tellinidae, distance to ice, distance to land, and the interaction of distances to ice and land all positively influenced walrus foraging resource selection. Standardized model coefficients indicated that distance to ice explained the most variation in walrus foraging resource selection followed by Tellinidae biomass. Distance to land and the interaction of distances to ice and land accounted for similar levels of variation. Tellinidae biomass likely represented an index of overall bivalve biomass, indicating walruses focused foraging in areas with elevated levels of bivalve and tellinid biomass. Our results also emphasize the importance of sea ice to walruses. Projected sea ice loss will increase the duration of the open water season in the Chukchi Sea, altering the spatial distribution of resting sites relative to current foraging areas and possibly affecting the spatial structure of benthic communities.

  20. Linescan camera evaluation of SSM/I 85.5 GHz sea ice retrieval

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garrity, Caren; Lubin, Dan; Kern, Stefan

    2002-01-01

    misclassify clouds over open water as sea ice, and is therefore unreliable for locating the sea ice edge. The best algorithm for locating the sea ice edge is found to be the SEA LION algorithm, which explicitly uses meteorological reanalysis data to correct for atmospheric contamination. For total sea ice...

  1. SEDNA: Sea ice Experiment - Dynamic Nature of the Arctic

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Sea Ice Experiment - Dynamic Nature of the Arctic (SEDNA) is an international collaborative effort to improve the understanding of the interaction between sea...

  2. Sea Ice Melt Pond Data from the Canadian Arctic

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains observations of albedo, depth, and physical characteristics of melt ponds on sea ice, taken during the summer of 1994. The melt ponds studied...

  3. Arctic Sea Ice Charts from Danish Meteorological Institute, 1893 - 1956

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — From 1893 to 1956, the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) created charts of observed and inferred sea ice extent for each summer month. These charts are based on...

  4. Arctic Landfast Sea Ice 1953-1998, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The files in this data set contain landfast sea ice data (monthly means) gathered from both Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) and Canadian Ice...

  5. Sea Ice Prediction Has Easy and Difficult Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Lawrence C.; Bitz, Cecilia M.; Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, Edward; Cutler, Matthew; Kay, Jennifer; Meier, Walter N.; Stroeve, Julienne; Wiggins, Helen

    2014-01-01

    Arctic sea ice follows an annual cycle, reaching its low point in September each year. The extent of sea ice remaining at this low point has been trending downwards for decades as the Arctic warms. Around the long-term downward trend, however, there is significant variation in the minimum extent from one year to the next. Accurate forecasts of yearly conditions would have great value to Arctic residents, shipping companies, and other stakeholders and are the subject of much current research. Since 2008 the Sea Ice Outlook (SIO) (http://www.arcus.org/search-program/seaiceoutlook) organized by the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) (http://www.arcus.org/search-program) has invited predictions of the September Arctic sea ice minimum extent, which are contributed from the Arctic research community. Individual predictions, based on a variety of approaches, are solicited in three cycles each year in early June, July, and August. (SEARCH 2013).

  6. Tradition and Technology: Sea Ice Science on Inuit Sleds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, Jeremy P.; Hanson, Susanne; Hughes, Nick E.; James, Alistair; Jones, Bryn; MacKinnon, Rory; Rysgaard, Søren; Toudal, Leif

    2011-01-01

    The Arctic is home to a circumpolar community of native people whose culture and traditions have enabled them to thrive in what most would perceive as a totally inhospitable and untenable environment. In many ways, sea ice can be viewed as the glue that binds these northern communities together; it is utilized in all aspects of their daily life. Sea ice acts as highways of the north; indeed, one can travel on these highways with dogsleds and snowmobiles. These travels over the frozen ocean occur at all periods of the sea ice cycle and over different ice types and ages. Excursions may be hunting trips to remote regions or social visits to nearby villages. Furthermore, hunting on the sea ice contributes to the health, culture, and commercial income of a community.

  7. Remote sensing of sea ice: advances during the DAMOCLES project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Heygster

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In the Arctic, global warming is particularly pronounced so that we need to monitor its development continuously. On the other hand, the vast and hostile conditions make in situ observation difficult, so that available satellite observations should be exploited in the best possible way to extract geophysical information. Here, we give a résumé of the sea ice remote sensing efforts of the European Union's (EU project DAMOCLES (Developing Arctic Modeling and Observing Capabilities for Long-term Environmental Studies. In order to better understand the seasonal variation of the microwave emission of sea ice observed from space, the monthly variations of the microwave emissivity of first-year and multi-year sea ice have been derived for the frequencies of the microwave imagers like AMSR-E (Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on EOS and sounding frequencies of AMSU (Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit, and have been used to develop an optimal estimation method to retrieve sea ice and atmospheric parameters simultaneously. In addition, a sea ice microwave emissivity model has been used together with a thermodynamic model to establish relations between the emissivities from 6 GHz to 50 GHz. At the latter frequency, the emissivity is needed for assimilation into atmospheric circulation models, but is more difficult to observe directly. The size of the snow grains on top of the sea ice influences both its albedo and the microwave emission. A method to determine the effective size of the snow grains from observations in the visible range (MODIS is developed and demonstrated in an application on the Ross ice shelf. The bidirectional reflectivity distribution function (BRDF of snow, which is an essential input parameter to the retrieval, has been measured in situ on Svalbard during the DAMOCLES campaign, and a BRDF model assuming aspherical particles is developed. Sea ice drift and deformation is derived from satellite observations with the scatterometer

  8. Gypsum and hydrohalite dynamics in sea ice brines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Benjamin M.; Papadimitriou, Stathys; Day, Sarah J.; Kennedy, Hilary

    2017-09-01

    Mineral authigenesis from their dissolved sea salt matrix is an emergent feature of sea ice brines, fuelled by dramatic equilibrium solubility changes in the large sub-zero temperature range of this cryospheric system on the surface of high latitude oceans. The multi-electrolyte composition of seawater results in the potential for several minerals to precipitate in sea ice, each affecting the in-situ geochemical properties of the sea ice brine system, the habitat of sympagic biota. The solubility of two of these minerals, gypsum (CaSO4 ·2H2O) and hydrohalite (NaCl · 2H2O), was investigated in high ionic strength multi-electrolyte solutions at below-zero temperatures to examine their dissolution-precipitation dynamics in the sea ice brine system. The gypsum dynamics in sea ice were found to be highly dependent on the solubilities of mirabilite and hydrohalite between 0.2 and - 25.0 ° C. The hydrohalite solubility between - 14.3 and - 25.0 ° C exhibits a sharp change between undersaturated and supersaturated conditions, and, thus, distinct temperature fields of precipitation and dissolution in sea ice, with saturation occurring at - 22.9 ° C. The sharp changes in hydrohalite solubility at temperatures ⩽-22.9 °C result from the formation of an ice-hydrohalite aggregate, which alters the structural properties of brine inclusions in cold sea ice. Favourable conditions for gypsum precipitation in sea ice were determined to occur in the region of hydrohalite precipitation below - 22.9 ° C and in conditions of metastable mirabilite supersaturation above - 22.9 ° C (investigated at - 7.1 and - 8.2 ° C here) but gypsum is unlikely to persist once mirabilite forms at these warmer (>-22.9 °C) temperatures. The dynamics of hydrohalite in sea ice brines based on its experimental solubility were consistent with that derived from thermodynamic modelling (FREZCHEM code) but the gypsum dynamics derived from the code were inconsistent with that indicated by its

  9. Summer Arctic sea ice albedo in CMIP5 models

    OpenAIRE

    Koenigk, T.; Devasthale, A.; Karlsson, K.-G.

    2014-01-01

    Spatial and temporal variations of summer sea ice albedo over the Arctic are analyzed using an ensemble of historical CMIP5 model simulations. The results are compared to the CLARA-SAL product that is based on long-term satellite observations. The summer sea ice albedo varies substantially among CMIP5 models, and many models show large biases compared to the CLARA-SAL product. Single summer months show an extreme spread of ice albedo among models; July values vary between 0....

  10. Sea Ice Monitoring from Space with Synthetic Aperture Radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eltoft, T.; Dierking, W.; Doulgeris, A.; Kasapoglu, G.; Kraemer, T.

    2013-03-01

    This paper summarizes the knowledge status in some areas of SAR monitoring of sea ice. It starts with a brief summary of the whitepaper by Breivik et al. from OceanObs’09 [3], and then focuses on segmentation and classification, drift estimation, and assimilation strategies, which are considered as key areas in the development of more mature sea ice products from SAR and polarimetric SAR (PoLSAR) data.

  11. Understanding the Importance of Oceanic Forcing on Sea Ice Variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-01

    problem, which includes ice thickness. Thorndike et al. (1975) recognized that many of the physical properties of sea ice depend upon its thickness...IMB2005B are presented below. In agreement with previous studies (e.g., Thorndike and Colony 1982), they show that during the winter months (December...During the Past 100 Years, 33, 2, 143– 154. 148 Thorndike , A.S., and R. Colony, 1982: Sea ice motion in response to geostrophic winds. Journal of

  12. Arctic Sea Ice in Transformation: A Review of Recent Observed Changes and Impacts on Biology and Human Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Walter N.; Hovelsrud, Greta K.; van Oort, Bob E. H.; Key, Jeffrey R.; Kovacs, Kit M.; Michel, Christine; Haas, Christian; Granskog, Mats A.; Gerland, Sebastian; Perovich, Donald K.; hide

    2014-01-01

    Sea ice in the Arctic is one of the most rapidly changing components of the global climate system. Over the past few decades, summer areal extent has declined over 30, and all months show statistically significant declining trends. New satellite missions and techniques have greatly expanded information on sea ice thickness, but many uncertainties remain in the satellite data and long-term records are sparse. However, thickness observations and other satellite-derived data indicate a 40 decline in thickness, due in large part to the loss of thicker, older ice cover. The changes in sea ice are happening faster than models have projected. With continued increasing temperatures, summer ice-free conditions are likely sometime in the coming decades, though there are substantial uncertainties in the exact timing and high interannual variability will remain as sea ice decreases. The changes in Arctic sea ice are already having an impact on flora and fauna in the Arctic. Some species will face increasing challenges in the future, while new habitat will open up for other species. The changes are also affecting peoples living and working in the Arctic. Native communities are facing challenges to their traditional ways of life, while new opportunities open for shipping, fishing, and natural resource extraction.

  13. New Visualizations Highlight New Information on the Contrasting Arctic and Antarctic Sea-Ice Trends Since the Late 1970s

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.; DiGirolamo, Nicolo E.

    2016-01-01

    Month-by-month ranking of 37 years (1979-2015) of satellite-derived sea-ice extents in the Arctic and Antarctic reveals interesting new details in the overall trends toward decreasing sea-ice coverage in the Arctic and increasing sea-ice coverage in the Antarctic. The Arctic decreases are so definitive that there has not been a monthly record high in Arctic sea-ice extents in any month since 1986, a time period during which there have been 75 monthly record lows. The Antarctic, with the opposite but weaker trend toward increased ice extents, experienced monthly record lows in 5 months of 1986, then 6 later monthly record lows scattered through the dataset, with the last two occurring in 2006, versus 45 record highs since 1986. However, in the last three years of the 1979-2015 dataset, the downward trends in Arctic sea-ice extents eased up, with no new record lows in any month of 2013 or 2014 and only one record low in 2015,while the upward trends in Antarctic ice extents notably strengthened, with new record high ice extents in 4 months (August-November) of 2013, in 6 months (April- September) of 2014, and in 3 months (January, April, and May) of 2015. Globally, there have been only 3 monthly record highs since 1986 (only one since 1988), whereas there have been 43 record lows, although the last record lows (in the 1979-2015 dataset) occurred in 2012.

  14. The Arctic-Subarctic Sea Ice System is Entering a Seasonal Regime: Implications for Future Arctic Amplication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haine, T. W. N.; Martin, T.

    2017-12-01

    The loss of Arctic sea ice is a conspicuous example of climate change. Climate models project ice-free conditions during summer this century under realistic emission scenarios, reflecting the increase in seasonality in ice cover. To quantify the increased seasonality in the Arctic-Subarctic sea ice system, we define a non-dimensional seasonality number for sea ice extent, area, and volume from satellite data and realistic coupled climate models. We show that the Arctic-Subarctic, i.e. the northern hemisphere, sea ice now exhibits similar levels of seasonality to the Antarctic, which is in a seasonal regime without significant change since satellite observations began in 1979. Realistic climate models suggest that this transition to the seasonal regime is being accompanied by a maximum in Arctic amplification, which is the faster warming of Arctic latitudes compared to the global mean, in the 2010s. The strong link points to a peak in sea-ice-related feedbacks that occurs long before the Arctic becomes ice-free in summer.

  15. Simulation and Domain Identification of Sea Ice Thermodynamic System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bing Tan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on the measured data and characteristics of sea ice temperature distribution in space and time, this study is intended to consider a parabolic partial differential equation of the thermodynamic field of sea ice (coupled by snow, ice, and sea water layers with a time-dependent domain and its parameter identification problem. An optimal model with state constraints is presented with the thicknesses of snow and sea ice as parametric variables and the deviation between the calculated and measured sea ice temperatures as the performance criterion. The unique existence of the weak solution of the thermodynamic system is proved. The properties of the identification problem and the existence of the optimal parameter are discussed, and the one-order necessary condition is derived. Finally, based on the nonoverlapping domain decomposition method and semi-implicit difference scheme, an optimization algorithm is proposed for the numerical simulation. Results show that the simulated temperature of sea ice fit well with the measured data, and the better fit is corresponding to the deeper sea ice.

  16. Climate Modeling and Causal Identification for Sea Ice Predictability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hunke, Elizabeth Clare [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Urrego Blanco, Jorge Rolando [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Urban, Nathan Mark [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2018-02-12

    This project aims to better understand causes of ongoing changes in the Arctic climate system, particularly as decreasing sea ice trends have been observed in recent decades and are expected to continue in the future. As part of the Sea Ice Prediction Network, a multi-agency effort to improve sea ice prediction products on seasonal-to-interannual time scales, our team is studying sensitivity of sea ice to a collection of physical process and feedback mechanism in the coupled climate system. During 2017 we completed a set of climate model simulations using the fully coupled ACME-HiLAT model. The simulations consisted of experiments in which cloud, sea ice, and air-ocean turbulent exchange parameters previously identified as important for driving output uncertainty in climate models were perturbed to account for parameter uncertainty in simulated climate variables. We conducted a sensitivity study to these parameters, which built upon a previous study we made for standalone simulations (Urrego-Blanco et al., 2016, 2017). Using the results from the ensemble of coupled simulations, we are examining robust relationships between climate variables that emerge across the experiments. We are also using causal discovery techniques to identify interaction pathways among climate variables which can help identify physical mechanisms and provide guidance in predictability studies. This work further builds on and leverages the large ensemble of standalone sea ice simulations produced in our previous w14_seaice project.

  17. Antartic sea ice, 1973 - 1976: Satellite passive-microwave observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. J.; Comiso, J. C.; Parkinson, C. L.; Campbell, W. J.; Carsey, F. D.; Gloersen, P.

    1983-01-01

    Data from the Electrically Scanning Microwave Radiometer (ESMR) on the Nimbus 5 satellite are used to determine the extent and distribution of Antarctic sea ice. The characteristics of the southern ocean, the mathematical formulas used to obtain quantitative sea ice concentrations, the general characteristics of the seasonal sea ice growth/decay cycle and regional differences, and the observed seasonal growth/decay cycle for individual years and interannual variations of the ice cover are discussed. The sea ice data from the ESMR are presented in the form of color-coded maps of the Antarctic and the southern oceans. The maps show brightness temperatures and concentrations of pack ice averaged for each month, 4-year monthly averages, and month-to-month changes. Graphs summarizing the results, such as areas of sea ice as a function of time in the various sectors of the southern ocean are included. The images demonstrate that satellite microwave data provide unique information on large-scale sea ice conditions for determining climatic conditions in polar regions and possible global climatic changes.

  18. Global Daily Sea Ice Concentration Reprocessing Data Set for 1978-2007 from the EUMETSAT Ocean and Sea Ice Satellite Application Facility (NODC Accession 0068294)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data constitute the reprocessed sea ice concentration data set from the EUMETSAT Ocean and Sea Ice Satellite Application Facility (OSI SAF), covering the...

  19. The influence of regional Arctic sea-ice decline on stratospheric and tropospheric circulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenna, Christine; Bracegirdle, Thomas; Shuckburgh, Emily; Haynes, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Arctic sea-ice extent has rapidly declined over the past few decades, and most climate models project a continuation of this trend during the 21st century in response to greenhouse gas forcing. A number of recent studies have shown that this sea-ice loss induces vertically propagating Rossby waves, which weaken the stratospheric polar vortex and increase the frequency of sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs). SSWs have been shown to increase the probability of a negative NAO in the following weeks, thereby driving anomalous weather conditions over Europe and other mid-latitude regions. In contrast, other studies have shown that Arctic sea-ice loss strengthens the polar vortex, increasing the probability of a positive NAO. Sun et al. (2015) suggest these conflicting results may be due to the region of sea-ice loss considered. They find that if only regions within the Arctic Circle are considered in sea-ice projections, the polar vortex weakens; if only regions outwith the Arctic Circle are considered, the polar vortex strengthens. This is because the anomalous Rossby waves forced in the former/latter scenario constructively/destructively interfere with climatological Rossby waves, thus enhancing/suppressing upward wave propagation. In this study, we investigate whether Sun et al.'s results are robust to a different model. We also divide the regions of sea-ice loss they considered into further sub-regions, in order to examine the regional differences in more detail. We do this by using the intermediate complexity climate model, IGCM4, which has a well resolved stratosphere and does a good job of representing stratospheric processes. Several simulations are run in atmosphere only mode, where one is a control experiment and the others are perturbation experiments. In the control run annually repeating historical mean surface conditions are imposed at the lower boundary, whereas in each perturbation run the model is forced by SST perturbations imposed in a specific

  20. Wind-sea surface temperature-sea ice relationship in the Chukchi-Beaufort Seas during autumn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jing; Stegall, Steve T.; Zhang, Xiangdong

    2018-03-01

    Dramatic climate changes, especially the largest sea ice retreat during September and October, in the Chukchi-Beaufort Seas could be a consequence of, and further enhance, complex air-ice-sea interactions. To detect these interaction signals, statistical relationships between surface wind speed, sea surface temperature (SST), and sea ice concentration (SIC) were analyzed. The results show a negative correlation between wind speed and SIC. The relationships between wind speed and SST are complicated by the presence of sea ice, with a negative correlation over open water but a positive correlation in sea ice dominated areas. The examination of spatial structures indicates that wind speed tends to increase when approaching the ice edge from open water and the area fully covered by sea ice. The anomalous downward radiation and thermal advection, as well as their regional distribution, play important roles in shaping these relationships, though wind-driven sub-grid scale boundary layer processes may also have contributions. Considering the feedback loop involved in the wind-SST-SIC relationships, climate model experiments would be required to further untangle the underlying complex physical processes.

  1. Variation of Arctic's Sea-ice Albedo between 2000 and 2016 by fusion of MISR and MODIS data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Jan-Peter; Kharbouche, Said

    2017-04-01

    Many research studies have demonstrated that sea-ice plays a key role in climate change and global warming. Most of these studies are based either on ground in-situ data or on remotely sensed data. The latter data are provided mainly by active (SAR and LiDAR) sensors such as Cryosat2, ERS1/2, ENVISAT, Radarsat1/2, ICESat as well as passive sensors such as SSM/I. Nevertheless, the contribution of such active optical sensors data is limited to parameters such as thickness and sea-ice concentration from which albedo may be inferred. The creation of high quality albedo for sea-ice using optical satellites is confronted with two main obstacles: 1) the Arctic is a very cloudy region and, high quality albedo requires multi-angle observations over a relatively short period; 2) cloud masking over sea-ice is a very difficult task, especially for sensor with low spectral resolution. To overcome the above two obstacles, we discuss in a separate report the generation of this fused daily, weekly, fortnightly and monthly product at 1km and 5km resolution on a polar stereographic grid [1]. The limited swath (380km) of MISR means that not all of the Arctic is covered on a daily basis so composites on different time-steps were produced. The results show that sea-ice albedo has been in continuous decline since 2000 with thinner sea-ice and greater leads and open water as well as more ponding at earlier times in the year. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of the sea-ice climate feedback. Animated visualisations of the albedo patterns each year, the decline in average and the increase in standard deviation in albedo for every single day for all 17 years will be shown to demonstrate the effects of climate change over sea-ice albedo. References [1] Kharbouche & Muller, Production of Arctic sea-ice albedo by fusion of MISR and MODIS data. This conference. Acknowledgements This work was supported by www.QA4ECV.eu, a project of European Union's Seventh Framework

  2. Centennial-scale climate change from decadally-paced explosive volcanism: a coupled sea ice-ocean mechanism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhong, Y. [University of Colorado, INSTAAR, Boulder, CO (United States); Miller, G.H. [University of Colorado, INSTAAR, Boulder, CO (United States); University of Colorado, Department of Geological Sciences, Boulder, CO (United States); Otto-Bliesner, B.L.; Holland, M.M.; Bailey, D.A. [NCAR, Boulder, CO (United States); Schneider, D.P. [NCAR, Boulder, CO (United States); University of Colorado, CIRES, Boulder, CO (United States); Geirsdottir, A. [University of Iceland, Department of Earth Sciences and Institute of Earth Sciences, Reykjavik (Iceland)

    2011-12-15

    Northern Hemisphere summer cooling through the Holocene is largely driven by the steady decrease in summer insolation tied to the precession of the equinoxes. However, centennial-scale climate departures, such as the Little Ice Age, must be caused by other forcings, most likely explosive volcanism and changes in solar irradiance. Stratospheric volcanic aerosols have the stronger forcing, but their short residence time likely precludes a lasting climate impact from a single eruption. Decadally paced explosive volcanism may produce a greater climate impact because the long response time of ocean surface waters allows for a cumulative decrease in sea-surface temperatures that exceeds that of any single eruption. Here we use a global climate model to evaluate the potential long-term climate impacts from four decadally paced large tropical eruptions. Direct forcing results in a rapid expansion of Arctic Ocean sea ice that persists throughout the eruption period. The expanded sea ice increases the flux of sea ice exported to the northern North Atlantic long enough that it reduces the convective warming of surface waters in the subpolar North Atlantic. In two of our four simulations the cooler surface waters being advected into the Arctic Ocean reduced the rate of basal sea-ice melt in the Atlantic sector of the Arctic Ocean, allowing sea ice to remain in an expanded state for > 100 model years after volcanic aerosols were removed from the stratosphere. In these simulations the coupled sea ice-ocean mechanism maintains the strong positive feedbacks of an expanded Arctic Ocean sea ice cover, allowing the initial cooling related to the direct effect of volcanic aerosols to be perpetuated, potentially resulting in a centennial-scale or longer change of state in Arctic climate. The fact that the sea ice-ocean mechanism was not established in two of our four simulations suggests that a long-term sea ice response to volcanic forcing is sensitive to the stability of the seawater

  3. Processes driving sea ice variability in the Bering Sea in an eddying ocean/sea ice model: Mean seasonal cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Linghan; McClean, Julie L.; Miller, Arthur J.; Eisenman, Ian; Hendershott, Myrl C.; Papadopoulos, Caroline A.

    2014-12-01

    The seasonal cycle of sea ice variability in the Bering Sea, together with the thermodynamic and dynamic processes that control it, are examined in a fine resolution (1/10°) global coupled ocean/sea-ice model configured in the Community Earth System Model (CESM) framework. The ocean/sea-ice model consists of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Parallel Ocean Program (POP) and the Los Alamos Sea Ice Model (CICE). The model was forced with time-varying reanalysis atmospheric forcing for the time period 1970-1989. This study focuses on the time period 1980-1989. The simulated seasonal-mean fields of sea ice concentration strongly resemble satellite-derived observations, as quantified by root-mean-square errors and pattern correlation coefficients. The sea ice energy budget reveals that the seasonal thermodynamic ice volume changes are dominated by the surface energy flux between the atmosphere and the ice in the northern region and by heat flux from the ocean to the ice along the southern ice edge, especially on the western side. The sea ice force balance analysis shows that sea ice motion is largely associated with wind stress. The force due to divergence of the internal ice stress tensor is large near the land boundaries in the north, and it is small in the central and southern ice-covered region. During winter, which dominates the annual mean, it is found that the simulated sea ice was mainly formed in the northern Bering Sea, with the maximum ice growth rate occurring along the coast due to cold air from northerly winds and ice motion away from the coast. South of St Lawrence Island, winds drive the model sea ice southwestward from the north to the southwestern part of the ice-covered region. Along the ice edge in the western Bering Sea, model sea ice is melted by warm ocean water, which is carried by the simulated Bering Slope Current flowing to the northwest, resulting in the S-shaped asymmetric ice edge. In spring and fall, similar thermodynamic and dynamic

  4. Remotely Operated Vehicles under sea ice - Experiences and results from five years of polar operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katlein, Christian; Arndt, Stefanie; Lange, Benjamin; Belter, Hans Jakob; Schiller, Martin; Nicolaus, Marcel

    2016-04-01

    The availability of advanced robotic technologies to the Earth Science community has largely increased in the last decade. Remotely operated vehicles (ROV) enable spatially extensive scientific investigations underneath the sea ice of the polar oceans, covering a larger range and longer diving times than divers with significantly lower risks. Here we present our experiences and scientific results acquired from ROV operations during the last five years in the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice region. Working under the sea ice means to have all obstacles and investigated objects above the vehicle, and thus changes several paradigms of ROV operations as compared to blue water applications. Observations of downwelling spectral irradiance and radiance allow a characterization of the optical properties of sea ice and the spatial variability of the energy partitioning across the atmosphere-ice-ocean boundary. Our results show that the decreasing thickness and age of the sea ice have led to a significant increase in light transmission during summer over the last three decades. Spatially extensive measurements from ROV surveys generally provide more information on the light field variability than single spot measurements. The large number of sampled ice conditions during five cruises with the German research icebreaker RV Polarstern allows for the investigations of the seasonal evolution of light transmittance. Both, measurements of hyperspectral light transmittance through sea ice, as well as classification of upward-looking camera images were used to investigate the spatial distribution of ice-algal biomass. Buoyant ice-algal aggregates were found to be positioned in the stretches of level ice, rather than pressure ridges due to a physical interaction of aggregate-buoyancy and under-ice currents. Synchronous measurements of sea ice thickness by upward looking sonar provides crucial additional information to put light-transmittance and biological observations into context

  5. The effect of sea ice loss on sea salt aerosol concentrations and the radiative balance in the Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Struthers

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Understanding Arctic climate change requires knowledge of both the external and the local drivers of Arctic climate as well as local feedbacks within the system. An Arctic feedback mechanism relating changes in sea ice extent to an alteration of the emission of sea salt aerosol and the consequent change in radiative balance is examined. A set of idealized climate model simulations were performed to quantify the radiative effects of changes in sea salt aerosol emissions induced by prescribed changes in sea ice extent. The model was forced using sea ice concentrations consistent with present day conditions and projections of sea ice extent for 2100. Sea salt aerosol emissions increase in response to a decrease in sea ice, the model results showing an annual average increase in number emission over the polar cap (70–90° N of 86 × 106 m−2 s−1 (mass emission increase of 23 μg m−2 s−1. This in turn leads to an increase in the natural aerosol optical depth of approximately 23%. In response to changes in aerosol optical depth, the natural component of the aerosol direct forcing over the Arctic polar cap is estimated to be between −0.2 and −0.4 W m−2 for the summer months, which results in a negative feedback on the system. The model predicts that the change in first indirect aerosol effect (cloud albedo effect is approximately a factor of ten greater than the change in direct aerosol forcing although this result is highly uncertain due to the crude representation of Arctic clouds and aerosol-cloud interactions in the model. This study shows that both the natural aerosol direct and first indirect effects are strongly dependent on the surface albedo, highlighting the strong coupling between sea ice, aerosols, Arctic clouds and their radiative effects.

  6. Loss of sea ice during winter north of Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingrid H. Onarheim

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Sea ice loss in the Arctic Ocean has up to now been strongest during summer. In contrast, the sea ice concentration north of Svalbard has experienced a larger decline during winter since 1979. The trend in winter ice area loss is close to 10% per decade, and concurrent with a 0.3°C per decade warming of the Atlantic Water entering the Arctic Ocean in this region. Simultaneously, there has been a 2°C per decade warming of winter mean surface air temperature north of Svalbard, which is 20–45% higher than observations on the west coast. Generally, the ice edge north of Svalbard has retreated towards the northeast, along the Atlantic Water pathway. By making reasonable assumptions about the Atlantic Water volume and associated heat transport, we show that the extra oceanic heat brought into the region is likely to have caused the sea ice loss. The reduced sea ice cover leads to more oceanic heat transferred to the atmosphere, suggesting that part of the atmospheric warming is driven by larger open water area. In contrast to significant trends in sea ice concentration, Atlantic Water temperature and air temperature, there is no significant temporal trend in the local winds. Thus, winds have not caused the long-term warming or sea ice loss. However, the dominant winds transport sea ice from the Arctic Ocean into the region north of Svalbard, and the local wind has influence on the year-to-year variability of the ice concentration, which correlates with surface air temperatures, ocean temperatures, as well as the local wind.

  7. Rapid formation of a sea ice barrier east of Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nghiem, S. V.; van Woert, M. L.; Neumann, G.

    2005-11-01

    Daily SeaWinds scatterometer images acquired by the QuikSCAT satellite show an elongated sea ice feature that formed very rapidly (˜1-2 days) in November 2001 east of Svalbard over the Barents Sea. This sea ice structure, called "the Svalbard sea ice barrier," spanning approximately 10° in longitude and 2° in latitude, restricts the sea route and poses a significant navigation hazard. The secret of its formation appears to lie in the bottom of the sea: A comparison between bathymetry from the International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean data and the pattern of sea ice formation from scatterometer data reveals that the sea ice barrier conforms well with and stretches above a deep elongated channel connecting the Franz Josef-Victoria Trough to the Hinlopen Basin between Svalbard and Franz Josef Land. Historic hydrographic data from this area indicate that this sea channel contains cold Arctic water less than 50 m below the surface. Strong and persistent cold northerly winds force strong heat loss from this shallow surface layer, leading to the rapid formation of the sea ice barrier. Heat transfer rates estimated from European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts temperature and wind data over this region suggest that the surface water along the deep channel can be rapidly cooled to the freezing point. Scatterometer results in 1999-2003 show that sea ice forms in this area between October and December. Understanding the ice formation mechanisms helps to select appropriate locations for deployment of buoys measuring wind and air-sea temperature profile and to facilitate ice monitoring, modeling, and forecasting.

  8. Canadian snow and sea ice: historical trends and projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mudryk, Lawrence R.; Derksen, Chris; Howell, Stephen; Laliberté, Fred; Thackeray, Chad; Sospedra-Alfonso, Reinel; Vionnet, Vincent; Kushner, Paul J.; Brown, Ross

    2018-04-01

    The Canadian Sea Ice and Snow Evolution (CanSISE) Network is a climate research network focused on developing and applying state of the art observational data to advance dynamical prediction, projections, and understanding of seasonal snow cover and sea ice in Canada and the circumpolar Arctic. Here, we present an assessment from the CanSISE Network on trends in the historical record of snow cover (fraction, water equivalent) and sea ice (area, concentration, type, and thickness) across Canada. We also assess projected changes in snow cover and sea ice likely to occur by mid-century, as simulated by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) suite of Earth system models. The historical datasets show that the fraction of Canadian land and marine areas covered by snow and ice is decreasing over time, with seasonal and regional variability in the trends consistent with regional differences in surface temperature trends. In particular, summer sea ice cover has decreased significantly across nearly all Canadian marine regions, and the rate of multi-year ice loss in the Beaufort Sea and Canadian Arctic Archipelago has nearly doubled over the last 8 years. The multi-model consensus over the 2020-2050 period shows reductions in fall and spring snow cover fraction and sea ice concentration of 5-10 % per decade (or 15-30 % in total), with similar reductions in winter sea ice concentration in both Hudson Bay and eastern Canadian waters. Peak pre-melt terrestrial snow water equivalent reductions of up to 10 % per decade (30 % in total) are projected across southern Canada.

  9. Influence of freshwater input on the skill of decadal forecast of sea ice in the Southern Ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Zunz

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have investigated the potential link between the freshwater input derived from the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet and the observed recent increase in sea ice extent in the Southern Ocean. In this study, we assess the impact of an additional freshwater flux on the trend in sea ice extent and concentration in simulations with data assimilation, spanning the period 1850–2009, as well as in retrospective forecasts (hindcasts initialised in 1980. In the simulations with data assimilation, the inclusion of an additional freshwater flux that follows an autoregressive process improves the reconstruction of the trend in ice extent and concentration between 1980 and 2009. This is linked to a better efficiency of the data assimilation procedure but can also be due to a better representation of the freshwater cycle in the Southern Ocean. The results of the hindcast simulations show that an adequate initial state, reconstructed thanks to the data assimilation procedure including an additional freshwater flux, can lead to an increase in the sea ice extent spanning several decades that is in agreement with satellite observations. In our hindcast simulations, an increase in sea ice extent is obtained even in the absence of any major change in the freshwater input over the last decades. Therefore, while the additional freshwater flux appears to play a key role in the reconstruction of the evolution of the sea ice in the simulation with data assimilation, it does not seem to be required in the hindcast simulations. The present work thus provides encouraging results for sea ice predictions in the Southern Ocean, as in our simulation the positive trend in ice extent over the last 30 years is largely determined by the state of the system in the late 1970s.

  10. Validation of CryoSat-2 Performance over Arctic Sea Ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Di Bella, Alessandro; Skourup, Henriette; Bouffard, J.

    The main objective of this work is to validate CryoSat-2 (CS2) SARIn performance over sea ice by use of airborne laser altimetry data obtained during the CryoVEx 2012 campaign. A study by [1] has shown that the extra information from the CS2 SARIn mode increases the number of valid sea surface...... to validate the sea ice freeboard obtained by processing CS2 SARIn level 1b waveforms. The possible reduction in the random freeboard uncertainty is investigated comparing two scenarios, i.e. a SAR-like and a SARIn acquisition. It is observed that using the extra phase information, CS2 is able to detect leads...... height estimates which are usually discarded in the SAR mode due to snagging of the radar signal. As the number of valid detected leads increases, the uncertainty of the freeboard heights decreases. In this study, the snow freeboard heights estimated using data from the airborne laser scanner are used...

  11. The delivery of organic contaminants to the Arctic food web: Why sea ice matters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pucko, M.; Stern, Gary; Macdonald, Robie

    2015-01-01

    For decades sea ice has been perceived as a physical barrier for the loading of contaminants to the Arctic Ocean. We show that sea ice, in fact, facilitates the delivery of organic contaminants to the Arctic marine food web through processes that: 1) are independent of contaminant physical......–chemical properties (e.g. 2–3-fold increase in exposure to brine-associated biota), and 2) depend on physical–chemical properties and, therefore, differentiate between contaminants (e.g. atmospheric loading of contaminants to melt ponds over the summer, and their subsequent leakage to the ocean). We estimate...... risk of increased exposures through melt pond loading and drainage due to the high ratio of melt pond water to seawater concentration (Melt pond Enrichment Factor, MEF), which ranges from 2 for dacthal to 10 for endosulfan I. Melt pond contaminant enrichment can be perceived as a hypothetical ‘pump...

  12. Impacts of 1, 1.5, and 2 Degree Warming on Arctic Terrestrial Snow and Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derksen, C.; Mudryk, L.; Howell, S.; Flato, G. M.; Fyfe, J. C.; Gillett, N. P.; Sigmond, M.; Kushner, P. J.; Dawson, J.; Zwiers, F. W.; Lemmen, D.; Duguay, C. R.; Zhang, X.; Fletcher, C. G.; Dery, S. J.

    2017-12-01

    The 2015 Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established the global temperature goal of "holding the increase in the global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels." In this study, we utilize multiple gridded snow and sea ice products (satellite retrievals; assimilation systems; physical models driven by reanalyses) and ensembles of climate model simulations to determine the impacts of observed warming, and project the relative impacts of the UNFCC future warming targets on Arctic seasonal terrestrial snow and sea ice cover. Observed changes during the satellite era represent the response to approximately 1°C of global warming. Consistent with other studies, analysis of the observational record (1970's to present) identifies changes including a shorter snow cover duration (due to later snow onset and earlier snow melt), significant reductions in spring snow cover and summer sea ice extent, and the loss of a large proportion of multi-year sea ice. The spatial patterns of observed snow and sea ice loss are coherent across adjacent terrestrial/marine regions. There are strong pattern correlations between snow and temperature trends, with weaker association between sea ice and temperature due to the additional influence of dynamical effects such wind-driven redistribution of sea ice. Climate model simulations from the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project Phase 5(CMIP-5) multi-model ensemble, large initial condition ensembles of the Community Earth System Model (CESM) and Canadian Earth System Model (CanESM2) , and warming stabilization simulations from CESM were used to identify changes in snow and ice under further increases to 1.5°C and 2°C warming. The model projections indicate these levels of warming will be reached over the coming 2-4 decades. Warming to 1.5°C results in an increase in the

  13. The effects of additional black carbon on the albedo of Arctic sea ice: variation with sea ice type and snow cover

    OpenAIRE

    A. A. Marks; M. D. King

    2013-01-01

    The response of the albedo of bare sea ice and snow-covered sea ice to the addition of black carbon is calculated. Visible light absorption and light-scattering cross-sections are derived for a typical first-year and multi-year sea ice with both "dry" and "wet" snow types. The cross-sections are derived using data from a 1970s field study that recorded both reflectivity and light penetration in Arctic sea ice and snow overlying sea ice. The variation of absorption cross-section ov...

  14. Sea ice inertial oscillations in the Arctic Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Gimbert

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available An original method to quantify the amplitude of inertial motion of oceanic and ice drifters, through the introduction of a non-dimensional parameter M defined from a spectral analysis, is presented. A strong seasonal dependence of the magnitude of sea ice inertial oscillations is revealed, in agreement with the corresponding annual cycles of sea ice extent, concentration, thickness, advection velocity, and deformation rates. The spatial pattern of the magnitude of the sea ice inertial oscillations over the Arctic Basin is also in agreement with the sea ice thickness and concentration patterns. This argues for a strong interaction between the magnitude of inertial motion on one hand, the dissipation of energy through mechanical processes, and the cohesiveness of the cover on the other hand. Finally, a significant multi-annual evolution towards greater magnitudes of inertial oscillations in recent years, in both summer and winter, is reported, thus concomitant with reduced sea ice thickness, concentration and spatial extent.

  15. Investigating Arctic Sea Ice Survivability in the Beaufort Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Tooth

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Arctic sea ice extent has continued to decline in recent years, and the fractional coverage of multi-year sea ice has decreased significantly during this period. The Beaufort Sea region has been the site of much of the loss of multi-year sea ice, and it continues to play a large role in the extinction of ice during the melt season. We present an analysis of the influence of satellite-derived ice surface temperature, ice thickness, albedo, and downwelling longwave/shortwave radiation as well as latitude and airborne snow depth estimates on the change in sea ice concentration in the Beaufort Sea from 2009 to 2016 using a Lagrangian tracking database. Results from this analysis indicate that parcels that melt during summer in the Beaufort Sea reside at lower latitudes and have lower ice thickness at the beginning of the melt season in most cases. The influence of sea ice thickness and snow depth observed by IceBridge offers less conclusive results, with some years exhibiting higher thicknesses/depths for melted parcels. Parcels that melted along IceBridge tracks do exhibit lower latitudes and ice thicknesses, however, which indicates that earlier melt and breakup of ice may contribute to a greater likelihood of extinction of parcels in the summer.

  16. Mapping Arctic Bottomfast Sea Ice Using SAR Interferometry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dyre O. Dammann

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Bottomfast sea ice is an integral part of many near-coastal Arctic ecosystems with implications for subsea permafrost, coastal stability and morphology. Bottomfast sea ice is also of great relevance to over-ice travel by coastal communities, industrial ice roads, and marine habitats. There are currently large uncertainties around where and how much bottomfast ice is present in the Arctic due to the lack of effective approaches for detecting bottomfast sea ice on large spatial scales. Here, we suggest a robust method capable of detecting bottomfast sea ice using spaceborne synthetic aperture radar interferometry. This approach is used to discriminate between slowly deforming floating ice and completely stationary bottomfast ice based on the interferometric phase. We validate the approach over freshwater ice in the Mackenzie Delta, Canada, and over sea ice in the Colville Delta and Elson Lagoon, Alaska. For these areas, bottomfast ice, as interpreted from the interferometric phase, shows high correlation with local bathymetry and in-situ ice auger and ground penetrating radar measurements. The technique is further used to track the seasonal evolution of bottomfast ice in the Kasegaluk Lagoon, Alaska, by identifying freeze-up progression and areas of liquid water throughout winter.

  17. Assessing concentration uncertainty estimates from passive microwave sea ice products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, W.; Brucker, L.; Miller, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    Sea ice concentration is an essential climate variable and passive microwave derived estimates of concentration are one of the longest satellite-derived climate records. However, until recently uncertainty estimates were not provided. Numerous validation studies provided insight into general error characteristics, but the studies have found that concentration error varied greatly depending on sea ice conditions. Thus, an uncertainty estimate from each observation is desired, particularly for initialization, assimilation, and validation of models. Here we investigate three sea ice products that include an uncertainty for each concentration estimate: the NASA Team 2 algorithm product, the EUMETSAT Ocean and Sea Ice Satellite Application Facility (OSI-SAF) product, and the NOAA/NSIDC Climate Data Record (CDR) product. Each product estimates uncertainty with a completely different approach. The NASA Team 2 product derives uncertainty internally from the algorithm method itself. The OSI-SAF uses atmospheric reanalysis fields and a radiative transfer model. The CDR uses spatial variability from two algorithms. Each approach has merits and limitations. Here we evaluate the uncertainty estimates by comparing the passive microwave concentration products with fields derived from the NOAA VIIRS sensor. The results show that the relationship between the product uncertainty estimates and the concentration error (relative to VIIRS) is complex. This may be due to the sea ice conditions, the uncertainty methods, as well as the spatial and temporal variability of the passive microwave and VIIRS products.

  18. The Svalbard-Barents Sea ice-sheet - Historical, current and future perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingólfsson, Ólafur; Landvik, Jon Y.

    2013-03-01

    The history of research on the Late Quaternary Svalbard-Barents Sea ice sheet mirrors the developments of ideas and the shifts of paradigms in glacial theory over the past 150 years. Since the onset of scientific research there in the early 19th Century, Svalbard has been a natural laboratory where ideas and concepts have been tested, and played an important (but rarely acknowledged) role in the break-through of the Ice Age theory in the 1870's. The history of how the scientific perception of the Svalbard-Barents sea ice sheet developed in the mid-20th Century also tells a story of how a combination of fairly scattered and often contradictory observational data, and through both deductive and inductive reasoning, could outline a major ice sheet that had left but few tangible fingerprints. Since the 1980's, with increased terrestrial stratigraphical data, ever more marine geological evidence and better chronological control of glacial events, our perception of the Svalbard-Barents Sea ice sheet has changed. The first reconstructions depicted it as a static, concentric, single-domed ice sheet, with ice flowing from an ice divide over the central northern Barents Sea that expanded and declined in response to large-scale, Late Quaternary climate fluctuations, and which was more or less in tune with other major Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. We now increasingly perceive it as a very dynamic, multidomed ice sheet, controlled by climate fluctuations, relative sea-level change, as well as subglacial topography, substrate properties and basal temperature. In this respect, the Svalbard-Barents Sea ice sheet will increasingly hold the key for understanding the dynamics and processes of how marine-based ice sheets build-up and decay.

  19. Relating Radiative Fluxes on Arctic Sea Ice Area Using Arctic Observation and Reanalysis Integrated System (ArORIS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sledd, A.; L'Ecuyer, T. S.

    2017-12-01

    With Arctic sea ice declining rapidly and Arctic temperatures rising faster than the rest of the globe, a better understanding of the Arctic climate, and ice cover-radiation feedbacks in particular, is needed. Here we present the Arctic Observation and Reanalysis Integrated System (ArORIS), a dataset of integrated products to facilitate studying the Arctic using satellite, reanalysis, and in-situ datasets. The data include cloud properties, radiative fluxes, aerosols, meteorology, precipitation, and surface properties, to name just a few. Each dataset has uniform grid-spacing, time-averaging and naming conventions for ease of use between products. One intended use of ArORIS is to assess Arctic radiation and moisture budgets. Following that goal, we use observations from ArORIS - CERES-EBAF radiative fluxes and NSIDC sea ice fraction and area to quantify relationships between the Arctic energy balance and surface properties. We find a discernable difference between energy budgets for years with high and low September sea ice areas. Surface fluxes are especially responsive to the September sea ice minimum in months both leading up to September and the months following. In particular, longwave fluxes at the surface show increased sensitivity in the months preceding September. Using a single-layer model of solar radiation we also investigate the individual responses of surface and planetary albedos to changes in sea ice area. By partitioning the planetary albedo into surface and atmospheric contributions, we find that the atmospheric contribution to planetary albedo is less sensitive to changes in sea ice area than the surface contribution. Further comparisons between observations and reanalyses can be made using the available datasets in ArORIS.

  20. The Impact of Cloud Properties on Young Sea Ice during Three Winter Storms at N-ICE2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, S. Y.; Walden, V. P.; Cohen, L.; Hudson, S. R.

    2017-12-01

    The impact of clouds on sea ice varies significantly as cloud properties change. Instruments deployed during the Norwegian Young Sea Ice field campaign (N-ICE2015) are used to study how differing cloud properties influence the cloud radiative forcing at the sea ice surface. N-ICE2015 was the first campaign in the Arctic winter since SHEBA (1997/1998) to study the surface energy budget of sea ice and the associated effects of cloud properties. Cloud characteristics, surface radiative and turbulent fluxes, and meteorological properties were measured throughout the field campaign. Here we explore how cloud macrophysical and microphysical properties affect young, thin sea ice during three winter storms from 31 January to 15 February 2015. This time period is of interest due to the varying surface and atmospheric conditions, which showcase the variety of conditions the newly-formed sea ice can experience during the winter. This period was characterized by large variations in the ice surface and near-surface air temperatures, with highs near 0°C when warm, moist air was advected into the area and lows reaching -40°C during clear, calm periods between storms. The advection of warm, moist air into the area influenced the cloud properties and enhanced the downwelling longwave flux. For most of the period, downwelling longwave flux correlates closely with the air temperature. However, at the end of the first storm, a drop in downwelling longwave flux of about 50 Wm-2 was observed, independent of any change in surface or air temperature or cloud fraction, indicating a change in cloud properties. Lidar data show an increase in cloud height during this period and a potential shift in cloud phase from ice to mixed-phase. This study will describe the cloud properties during the three winter storms and discuss their impacts on surface energy budget.

  1. Observing Arctic Sea Ice from Bow to Screen: Introducing Ice Watch, the Data Network of Near Real-Time and Historic Observations from the Arctic Shipborne Sea Ice Standardization Tool (ASSIST)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlich, A.; Hutchings, J. K.; Green, T. M.

    2013-12-01

    The Ice Watch Program is an open source forum to access in situ Arctic sea ice conditions. It provides the research community and additional stakeholders a convenient resource to monitor sea ice and its role in understanding the Arctic as a system by implementing a standardized observation protocol and hosting a multi-service data portal. International vessels use the Arctic Shipborne Sea Ice Standardization Tool (ASSIST) software to report near-real time sea ice conditions while underway. Essential observations of total ice concentration, distribution of multi-year ice and other ice types, as well as their respective stage of melt are reported. These current and historic sea ice conditions are visualized on interactive maps and in a variety of statistical analyses, and with all data sets available to download for further investigation. The summer of 2012 was the debut of the ASSIST software and the Ice Watch campaign, with research vessels from six nations reporting from a wide spatio-temporal scale spanning from the Beaufort Sea, across the North Pole and Arctic Basin, the coast of Greenland and into the Kara and Barents Seas during mid-season melt and into the first stages of freeze-up. The 2013 summer field season sustained the observation and data archiving record, with participation from some of the same cruises as well as other geographic and seasonal realms covered by new users. These results are presented to illustrate the evolution of the program, increased participation and critical statistics of ice regime change and record of melt and freeze processes revealed by the data. As an ongoing effort, Ice Watch/ASSIST aims to standardize observations of Arctic-specific sea ice features and conditions while utilizing nomenclature and coding based on the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) standards and the Antarctic Sea Ice and Processes & Climate (ASPeCt) protocol. Instigated by members of the CliC Sea Ice Working Group, the program has evolved with

  2. The deep Canary poleward undercurrent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velez-Belchi, P. J.; Hernandez-Guerra, A.; González-Pola, C.; Fraile, E.; Collins, C. A.; Machín, F.

    2012-12-01

    Poleward undercurrents are well known features in Eastern Boundary systems. In the California upwelling system (CalCEBS), the deep poleward flow has been observed along the entire outer continental shelf and upper-slope, using indirect methods based on geostrophic estimates and also using direct current measurements. The importance of the poleward undercurrents in the CalCEBS, among others, is to maintain its high productivity by means of the transport of equatorial Pacific waters all the way northward to Vancouver Island and the subpolar gyre but there is also concern about the low oxygen concentration of these waters. However, in the case of the Canary Current Eastern Boundary upwelling system (CanCEBS), there are very few observations of the poleward undercurrent. Most of these observations are short-term mooring records, or drifter trajectories of the upper-slope flow. Hence, the importance of the subsurface poleward flow in the CanCEBS has been only hypothesized. Moreover, due to the large differences between the shape of the coastline and topography between the California and the Canary Current system, the results obtained for the CalCEBS are not completely applicable to the CanCEBS. In this study we report the first direct observations of the continuity of the deep poleward flow of the Canary Deep Poleward undercurrent (CdPU) in the North-Africa sector of the CanCEBS, and one of the few direct observations in the North-Africa sector of the Canary Current eastern boundary. The results indicate that the Canary Island archipelago disrupts the deep poleward undercurrent even at depths where the flow is not blocked by the bathymetry. The deep poleward undercurrent flows west around the eastern-most islands and north east of the Conception Bank to rejoin the intermittent branch that follows the African slope in the Lanzarote Passage. This hypothesis is consistent with the AAIW found west of Lanzarote, as far as 17 W. But also, this hypothesis would be coherent

  3. The sensitivity of the Arctic sea ice to orbitally induced insolation changes: a study of the mid-Holocene Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project 2 and 3 simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Berger

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available In the present work the Arctic sea ice in the mid-Holocene and the pre-industrial climates are analysed and compared on the basis of climate-model results from the Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project phase 2 (PMIP2 and phase 3 (PMIP3. The PMIP3 models generally simulate smaller and thinner sea-ice extents than the PMIP2 models both for the pre-industrial and the mid-Holocene climate. Further, the PMIP2 and PMIP3 models all simulate a smaller and thinner Arctic summer sea-ice cover in the mid-Holocene than in the pre-industrial control climate. The PMIP3 models also simulate thinner winter sea ice than the PMIP2 models. The winter sea-ice extent response, i.e. the difference between the mid-Holocene and the pre-industrial climate, varies among both PMIP2 and PMIP3 models. Approximately one half of the models simulate a decrease in winter sea-ice extent and one half simulates an increase. The model-mean summer sea-ice extent is 11 % (21 % smaller in the mid-Holocene than in the pre-industrial climate simulations in the PMIP2 (PMIP3. In accordance with the simple model of Thorndike (1992, the sea-ice thickness response to the insolation change from the pre-industrial to the mid-Holocene is stronger in models with thicker ice in the pre-industrial climate simulation. Further, the analyses show that climate models for which the Arctic sea-ice responses to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations are similar may simulate rather different sea-ice responses to the change in solar forcing between the mid-Holocene and the pre-industrial. For two specific models, which are analysed in detail, this difference is found to be associated with differences in the simulated cloud fractions in the summer Arctic; in the model with a larger cloud fraction the effect of insolation change is muted. A sub-set of the mid-Holocene simulations in the PMIP ensemble exhibit open water off the north-eastern coast of Greenland in summer, which can provide a fetch

  4. Arctic sea ice albedo from AVHRR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsay, R. W.; Rothrock, D. A.

    1994-01-01

    The seasonal cycle of surface albedo of sea ice in the Arctic is estimated from measurements made with the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on the polar-orbiting satellites NOAA-10 and NOAA-11. The albedos of 145 200-km-square cells are analyzed. The cells are from March through September 1989 and include only those for which the sun is more than 10 deg above the horizon. Cloud masking is performed manually. Corrections are applied for instrument calibration, nonisotropic reflection, atmospheric interference, narrowband to broadband conversion, and normalization to a common solar zenith angle. The estimated albedos are relative, with the instrument gain set to give an albedo of 0.80 for ice floes in March and April. The mean values for the cloud-free portions of individual cells range from 0.18 to 0.91. Monthly averages of cells in the central Arctic range from 0.76 in April to 0.47 in August. The monthly averages of the within-cell standard deviations in the central Arctic are 0.04 in April and 0.06 in September. The surface albedo and surface temperature are correlated most strongly in March (R = -0.77) with little correlation in the summer. The monthly average lead fraction is determined from the mean potential open water, a scaled representation of the temperature or albedo between 0.0 (for ice) and 1.0 (for water); in the central Arctic it rises from an average 0.025 in the spring to 0.06 in September. Sparse data on aerosols, ozone, and water vapor in the atmospheric column contribute uncertainties to instantaneous, area-average albedos of 0.13, 0.04, and 0.08. Uncertainties in monthly average albedos are not this large. Contemporaneous estimation of these variables could reduce the uncertainty in the estimated albedo considerably. The poor calibration of AVHRR channels 1 and 2 is another large impediment to making accurate albedo estimates.

  5. Regions of open water and melting sea ice drive new particle formation in North East Greenland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dall Osto, M; Geels, C; Beddows, D C S; Boertmann, D; Lange, R; Nøjgaard, J K; Harrison, Roy M; Simo, R; Skov, H; Massling, A

    2018-04-17

    Atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) and growth significantly influences the indirect aerosol-cloud effect within the polar climate system. In this work, the aerosol population is categorised via cluster analysis of aerosol number size distributions (9-915 nm, 65 bins) taken at Villum Research Station, Station Nord (VRS) in North Greenland during a 7 year record (2010-2016). Data are clustered at daily averaged resolution; in total, we classified six categories, five of which clearly describe the ultrafine aerosol population, one of which is linked to nucleation events (up to 39% during summer). Air mass trajectory analyses tie these frequent nucleation events to biogenic precursors released by open water and melting sea ice regions. NPF events in the studied regions seem not to be related to bird colonies from coastal zones. Our results show a negative correlation (r = -0.89) between NPF events and sea ice extent, suggesting the impact of ultrafine Arctic aerosols is likely to increase in the future, given the likely increased sea ice melting. Understanding the composition and the sources of Arctic aerosols requires further integrated studies with joint multi-component ocean-atmosphere observation and modelling.

  6. Extreme Low Light Requirement for Algae Growth Underneath Sea Ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hancke, Kasper; Lund-Hansen, Lars C.; Lamare, Maxim L.

    2018-01-01

    Microalgae colonizing the underside of sea ice in spring are a key component of the Arctic foodweb as they drive early primary production and transport of carbon from the atmosphere to the ocean interior. Onset of the spring bloom of ice algae is typically limited by the availability of light......, and the current consensus is that a few tens-of-centimeters of snow is enough to prevent sufficient solar radiation to reach underneath the sea ice. We challenge this consensus, and investigated the onset and the light requirement of an ice algae spring bloom, and the importance of snow optical properties...... for light penetration. Colonization by ice algae began in May under >1 m of first-year sea ice with approximate to 1 m thick snow cover on top, in NE Greenland. The initial growth of ice algae began at extremely low irradiance (...

  7. Knowledge-based sea ice classification by polarimetric SAR

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skriver, Henning; Dierking, Wolfgang

    2004-01-01

    Polarimetric SAR images acquired at C- and L-band over sea ice in the Greenland Sea, Baltic Sea, and Beaufort Sea have been analysed with respect to their potential for ice type classification. The polarimetric data were gathered by the Danish EMISAR and the US AIRSAR which both are airborne...... systems. A hierarchical classification scheme was chosen for sea ice because our knowledge about magnitudes, variations, and dependences of sea ice signatures can be directly considered. The optimal sequence of classification rules and the rules themselves depend on the ice conditions/regimes. The use...... of the polarimetric phase information improves the classification only in the case of thin ice types but is not necessary for thicker ice (above about 30 cm thickness)...

  8. Computing and Representing Sea Ice Trends: Toward a Community Consensus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohlleben, T.; Tivy, A.; Stroeve, J.; Meier, Walter N.; Fetterer, F.; Wang, J.; Assel, R.

    2013-01-01

    Estimates of the recent decline in Arctic Ocean summer sea ice extent can vary due to differences in sea ice data sources, in the number of years used to compute the trend, and in the start and end years used in the trend computation. Compounding such differences, estimates of the relative decline in sea ice cover (given in percent change per decade) can further vary due to the choice of reference value (the initial point of the trend line, a climatological baseline, etc.). Further adding to the confusion, very often when relative trends are reported in research papers, the reference values used are not specified or made clear. This can lead to confusion when trend studies are cited in the press and public reports.

  9. Autonomous Ice Mass Balance Buoys for Seasonal Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitlock, J. D.; Planck, C.; Perovich, D. K.; Parno, J. T.; Elder, B. C.; Richter-Menge, J.; Polashenski, C. M.

    2017-12-01

    The ice mass-balance represents the integration of all surface and ocean heat fluxes and attributing the impact of these forcing fluxes on the ice cover can be accomplished by increasing temporal and spatial measurements. Mass balance information can be used to understand the ongoing changes in the Arctic sea ice cover and to improve predictions of future ice conditions. Thinner seasonal ice in the Arctic necessitates the deployment of Autonomous Ice Mass Balance buoys (IMB's) capable of long-term, in situ data collection in both ice and open ocean. Seasonal IMB's (SIMB's) are free floating IMB's that allow data collection in thick ice, thin ice, during times of transition, and even open water. The newest generation of SIMB aims to increase the number of reliable IMB's in the Arctic by leveraging inexpensive commercial-grade instrumentation when combined with specially developed monitoring hardware. Monitoring tasks are handled by a custom, expandable data logger that provides low-cost flexibility for integrating a large range of instrumentation. The SIMB features ultrasonic sensors for direct measurement of both snow depth and ice thickness and a digital temperature chain (DTC) for temperature measurements every 2cm through both snow and ice. Air temperature and pressure, along with GPS data complete the Arctic picture. Additionally, the new SIMB is more compact to maximize deployment opportunities from multiple types of platforms.

  10. Regional Changes in the Sea Ice Cover and Ice Production in the Antarctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comiso, Josefino C.

    2011-01-01

    Coastal polynyas around the Antarctic continent have been regarded as sea ice factories because of high ice production rates in these regions. The observation of a positive trend in the extent of Antarctic sea ice during the satellite era has been intriguing in light of the observed rapid decline of the ice extent in the Arctic. The results of analysis of the time series of passive microwave data indicate large regional variability with the trends being strongly positive in the Ross Sea, strongly negative in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas and close to zero in the other regions. The atmospheric circulation in the Antarctic is controlled mainly by the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and the marginal ice zone around the continent shows an alternating pattern of advance and retreat suggesting the presence of a propagating wave (called Antarctic Circumpolar Wave) around the circumpolar region. The results of analysis of the passive microwave data suggest that the positive trend in the Antarctic sea ice cover could be caused primarily by enhanced ice production in the Ross Sea that may be associated with more persistent and larger coastal polynyas in the region. Over the Ross Sea shelf, analysis of sea ice drift data from 1992 to 2008 yields a positive rate-of-increase in the net ice export of about 30,000 km2 per year. For a characteristic ice thickness of 0.6 m, this yields a volume transport of about 20 km3/year, which is almost identical, within error bars, to our estimate of the trend in ice production. In addition to the possibility of changes in SAM, modeling studies have also indicated that the ozone hole may have a role in that it causes the deepening of the lows in the western Antarctic region thereby causing strong winds to occur offthe Ross-ice shelf.

  11. Demographic, ecological, and physiological responses of ringed seals to an abrupt decline in sea ice availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, Steven H; Young, Brent G; Yurkowski, David J; Anderson, Randi; Willing, Cornelia; Nielsen, Ole

    2017-01-01

    To assess whether demographic declines of Arctic species at the southern limit of their range will be gradual or punctuated, we compared large-scale environmental patterns including sea ice dynamics to ringed seal ( Pusa hispida ) reproduction, body condition, recruitment, and stress in Hudson Bay from 2003 to 2013. Aerial surveys suggested a gradual decline in seal density from 1995 to 2013, with the lowest density occurring in 2013. Body condition decreased and stress (cortisol) increased over time in relation to longer open water periods. The 2010 open water period in Hudson Bay coincided with extremes in large-scale atmospheric patterns (North Atlantic Oscillation, Arctic Oscillation, El Nino-Southern Oscillation) resulting in the earliest spring breakup and the latest ice formation on record. The warming event was coincident with high stress level, low ovulation rate, low pregnancy rate, few pups in the Inuit harvest, and observations of sick seals. Results provide evidence of changes in the condition of Arctic marine mammals in relation to climate mediated sea ice dynamics. We conclude that although negative demographic responses of Hudson Bay seals are occurring gradually with diminishing sea ice, a recent episodic environmental event played a significant role in a punctuated population decline.

  12. Open-source algorithm for detecting sea ice surface features in high-resolution optical imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. C. Wright

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Snow, ice, and melt ponds cover the surface of the Arctic Ocean in fractions that change throughout the seasons. These surfaces control albedo and exert tremendous influence over the energy balance in the Arctic. Increasingly available meter- to decimeter-scale resolution optical imagery captures the evolution of the ice and ocean surface state visually, but methods for quantifying coverage of key surface types from raw imagery are not yet well established. Here we present an open-source system designed to provide a standardized, automated, and reproducible technique for processing optical imagery of sea ice. The method classifies surface coverage into three main categories: snow and bare ice, melt ponds and submerged ice, and open water. The method is demonstrated on imagery from four sensor platforms and on imagery spanning from spring thaw to fall freeze-up. Tests show the classification accuracy of this method typically exceeds 96 %. To facilitate scientific use, we evaluate the minimum observation area required for reporting a representative sample of surface coverage. We provide an open-source distribution of this algorithm and associated training datasets and suggest the community consider this a step towards standardizing optical sea ice imagery processing. We hope to encourage future collaborative efforts to improve the code base and to analyze large datasets of optical sea ice imagery.

  13. Intensified Arctic warming under greenhouse warming by vegetation–atmosphere–sea ice interaction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, Jee-Hoon; Kug, Jong-Seong; Linderholm, Hans W; Chen, Deliang; Kim, Baek-Min; Jun, Sang-Yoon

    2014-01-01

    Observations and modeling studies indicate that enhanced vegetation activities over high latitudes under an elevated CO 2 concentration accelerate surface warming by reducing the surface albedo. In this study, we suggest that vegetation-atmosphere-sea ice interactions over high latitudes can induce an additional amplification of Arctic warming. Our hypothesis is tested by a series of coupled vegetation-climate model simulations under 2xCO 2 environments. The increased vegetation activities over high latitudes under a 2xCO 2 condition induce additional surface warming and turbulent heat fluxes to the atmosphere, which are transported to the Arctic through the atmosphere. This causes additional sea-ice melting and upper-ocean warming during the warm season. As a consequence, the Arctic and high-latitude warming is greatly amplified in the following winter and spring, which further promotes vegetation activities the following year. We conclude that the vegetation-atmosphere-sea ice interaction gives rise to additional positive feedback of the Arctic amplification. (letter)

  14. Modelling snow ice and superimposed ice on landfast sea ice in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caixin Wang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Snow ice and superimposed ice formation on landfast sea ice in a Svalbard fjord, Kongsfjorden, was investigated with a high-resolution thermodynamic snow and sea-ice model, applying meteorological weather station data as external forcing. The model shows that sea-ice formation occurs both at the ice bottom and at the snow/ice interface. Modelling results indicated that the total snow ice and superimposed ice, which formed at the snow/ice interface, was about 14 cm during the simulation period, accounting for about 15% of the total ice mass and 35% of the total ice growth. Introducing a time-dependent snow density improved the modelled results, and a time-dependent oceanic heat flux parameterization yielded reasonable ice growth at the ice bottom. Model results suggest that weather conditions, in particular air temperature and precipitation, as well as snow thermal properties and surface albedo are the most critical factors for the development of snow ice and superimposed ice in Kongsfjorden. While both warming air and higher precipitation led to increased snow ice and superimposed ice forming in Kongsfjorden in the model runs, the processes were more sensitive to precipitation than to air temperature.

  15. Climate drift of AMOC, North Atlantic salinity and arctic sea ice in CFSv2 decadal predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Bohua; Zhu, Jieshun; Marx, Lawrence; Wu, Xingren; Kumar, Arun; Hu, Zeng-Zhen; Balmaseda, Magdalena A.; Zhang, Shaoqing; Lu, Jian; Schneider, Edwin K.; Kinter, James L., III

    2015-01-01

    There are potential advantages to extending operational seasonal forecast models to predict decadal variability but major efforts are required to assess the model fidelity for this task. In this study, we examine the North Atlantic climate simulated by the NCEP Climate Forecast System, version 2 (CFSv2), using a set of ensemble decadal hindcasts and several 30-year simulations initialized from realistic ocean-atmosphere states. It is found that a substantial climate drift occurs in the first few years of the CFSv2 hindcasts, which represents a major systematic bias and may seriously affect the model's fidelity for decadal prediction. In particular, it is noted that a major reduction of the upper ocean salinity in the northern North Atlantic weakens the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) significantly. This freshening is likely caused by the excessive freshwater transport from the Arctic Ocean and weakened subtropical water transport by the North Atlantic Current. A potential source of the excessive freshwater is the quick melting of sea ice, which also causes unrealistically thin ice cover in the Arctic Ocean. Our sensitivity experiments with adjusted sea ice albedo parameters produce a sustainable ice cover with realistic thickness distribution. It also leads to a moderate increase of the AMOC strength. This study suggests that a realistic freshwater balance, including a proper sea ice feedback, is crucial for simulating the North Atlantic climate and its variability.

  16. Open-source algorithm for detecting sea ice surface features in high-resolution optical imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Nicholas C.; Polashenski, Chris M.

    2018-04-01

    Snow, ice, and melt ponds cover the surface of the Arctic Ocean in fractions that change throughout the seasons. These surfaces control albedo and exert tremendous influence over the energy balance in the Arctic. Increasingly available meter- to decimeter-scale resolution optical imagery captures the evolution of the ice and ocean surface state visually, but methods for quantifying coverage of key surface types from raw imagery are not yet well established. Here we present an open-source system designed to provide a standardized, automated, and reproducible technique for processing optical imagery of sea ice. The method classifies surface coverage into three main categories: snow and bare ice, melt ponds and submerged ice, and open water. The method is demonstrated on imagery from four sensor platforms and on imagery spanning from spring thaw to fall freeze-up. Tests show the classification accuracy of this method typically exceeds 96 %. To facilitate scientific use, we evaluate the minimum observation area required for reporting a representative sample of surface coverage. We provide an open-source distribution of this algorithm and associated training datasets and suggest the community consider this a step towards standardizing optical sea ice imagery processing. We hope to encourage future collaborative efforts to improve the code base and to analyze large datasets of optical sea ice imagery.

  17. Modelling sea ice formation in the Terra Nova Bay polynya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sansiviero, M.; Morales Maqueda, M. Á.; Fusco, G.; Aulicino, G.; Flocco, D.; Budillon, G.

    2017-02-01

    Antarctic sea ice is constantly exported from the shore by strong near surface winds that open leads and large polynyas in the pack ice. The latter, known as wind-driven polynyas, are responsible for significant water mass modification due to the high salt flux into the ocean associated with enhanced ice growth. In this article, we focus on the wind-driven Terra Nova Bay (TNB) polynya, in the western Ross Sea. Brine rejected during sea ice formation processes that occur in the TNB polynya densifies the water column leading to the formation of the most characteristic water mass of the Ross Sea, the High Salinity Shelf Water (HSSW). This water mass, in turn, takes part in the formation of Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW), the densest water mass of the world ocean, which plays a major role in the global meridional overturning circulation, thus affecting the global climate system. A simple coupled sea ice-ocean model has been developed to simulate the seasonal cycle of sea ice formation and export within a polynya. The sea ice model accounts for both thermal and mechanical ice processes. The oceanic circulation is described by a one-and-a-half layer, reduced gravity model. The domain resolution is 1 km × 1 km, which is sufficient to represent the salient features of the coastline geometry, notably the Drygalski Ice Tongue. The model is forced by a combination of Era Interim reanalysis and in-situ data from automatic weather stations, and also by a climatological oceanic dataset developed from in situ hydrographic observations. The sensitivity of the polynya to the atmospheric forcing is well reproduced by the model when atmospheric in situ measurements are combined with reanalysis data. Merging the two datasets allows us to capture in detail the strength and the spatial distribution of the katabatic winds that often drive the opening of the polynya. The model resolves fairly accurately the sea ice drift and sea ice production rates in the TNB polynya, leading to

  18. Late Cenozoic Arctic Ocean sea ice and terrestrial paleoclimate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, L.D.; Brigham-Grette, J.; Marincovich, L.; Pease, V.L.; Hillhouse, J.W.

    1986-01-01

    Sea otter remains found in deposits of two marine transgressions (Bigbendian and Fishcreekian) of the Alaskan Arctic Coastal Plain which occurred between 2.4 and 3 Ma suggest that during these two events the southern limit of seasonal sea ice was at least 1600 km farther north than at present in Alaskan waters. Perennial sea ice must have been severely restricted or absent, and winters were warmer than at present during these two sea-level highstands. Paleomagnetic, faunal, and palynological data indicate that the later transgression (Fishcreekian) occurred during the early part of the Matuyama Reversed-Polarity Chron. -from Authors

  19. Arctic Tides from GPS on sea-ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kildegaard Rose, Stine; Skourup, Henriette; Forsberg, René

    2013-01-01

    The presence of sea-ice in the Arctic Ocean plays a significant role in the Arctic climate. Sea-ice dampens the ocean tide amplitude with the result that global tidal models perform less accurately in the polar regions. This paper presents, a kinematic processing of global positioning system (GPS....... The results show coherence between the GPS buoy measurements, and the tide model. Furthermore, we have proved that the reference ellipsoid of WGS84, can be interpolated to the tidal defined zero level by applying geophysical corrections to the GPS data....

  20. Denitrification activity and oxygen dynamics in Arctic sea ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Glud, Ronnie Nøhr; Stahl, Henrik J.; Rysgaard, Søren

    2008-01-01

    denitrification activity (5-194 mu mol N m(-2) day(-1)) and anammox activity (3-5 mu mol N m(-2) day(-1)) in melt water from both first-year and multi-year sea ice was found. These values correspond to 27 and 7%, respectively, of the benthic denitrification and anammox activities in Arctic sediments. Although we...... a mosaic of microsites of high and low O-2 concentrations. Brine enclosures and channels were strongly O-2 depleted in actively melting sea ice, and anoxic conditions in parts of the brine system would favour anaerobic processes....

  1. Temporal dynamics of ikaite in experimental sea ice

    OpenAIRE

    S. Rysgaard; F. Wang; R. J. Galley; R. Grimm; D. Notz; M. Lemes; N.-X. Geilfus; A. Chaulk; A. A. Hare; O. Crabeck; B. G. T. Else; K. Campbell; L. L. Sørensen; J. Sievers; T. Papakyriakou

    2014-01-01

    Ikaite (CaCO3 · 6H2O) is a metastable phase of calcium carbonate that normally forms in a cold environment and/or under high pressure. Recently, ikaite crystals have been found in sea ice, and it has been suggested that their precipitation may play an important role in air–sea CO2 exchange in ice-covered seas. Little is known, however, of the spatial and temporal dynamics of ikaite in sea ice. Here we present evidence for highly dynamic ikaite precipitation and dissolution i...

  2. Sea Ice, Hydrocarbon Extraction, Rain-on-Snow and Tundra Reindeer Nomadism in Arctic Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, B. C.; Kumpula, T.; Meschtyb, N.; Laptander, R.; Macias-Fauria, M.; Zetterberg, P.; Verdonen, M.

    2015-12-01

    It is assumed that retreating sea ice in the Eurasian Arctic will accelerate hydrocarbon development and associated tanker traffic along Russia's Northern Sea Route. However, oil and gas extraction along the Kara and Barents Sea coasts will likely keep developing rapidly regardless of whether the Northwest Eurasian climate continues to warm. Less certain are the real and potential linkages to regional biota and social-ecological systems. Reindeer nomadism continues to be a vitally important livelihood for indigenous tundra Nenets and their large herds of semi-domestic reindeer. Warming summer air temperatures over the NW Russian Arctic have been linked to increases in tundra productivity, longer growing seasons, and accelerated growth of tall deciduous shrubs. These temperature increases have, in turn, been linked to more frequent and sustained summer high-pressure systems over West Siberia, but not to sea ice retreat. At the same time, winters have been warming and rain-on-snow (ROS) events have become more frequent and intense, leading to record-breaking winter and spring mortality of reindeer. What is driving this increase in ROS frequency and intensity is not clear. Recent modelling and simulation have found statistically significant near-surface atmospheric warming and precipitation increases during autumn and winter over Arctic coastal lands in proximity to regions of sea-ice loss. During the winter of 2013-14 an extensive and lasting ROS event led to the starvation of 61,000 reindeer out of a population of ca. 300,000 animals on Yamal Peninsula, West Siberia. Historically, this is the region's largest recorded mortality episode. More than a year later, participatory fieldwork with nomadic herders during spring-summer 2015 revealed that the ecological and socio-economic impacts from this extreme event will unfold for years to come. There is an urgent need to understand whether and how ongoing Barents and Kara Sea ice retreat may affect the region's ancient

  3. GLAS/ICESat L2 Sea Ice Altimetry Data (HDF5) V034

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — GLAH13 contains sea ice and open ocean elevations corrected for geodetic and atmospheric affects, calculated from algorithms fine-tuned for sea ice returns. Granules...

  4. GLAS/ICESat L2 Sea Ice Altimetry Data V033

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — GLA13 contains sea ice and open ocean elevations corrected for geodetic and atmospheric affects, calculated from algorithms fine-tuned for sea ice returns. Granules...

  5. Canadian Ice Service Arctic Regional Sea Ice Charts in SIGRID-3 Format

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Canadian Ice Service (CIS) produces digital Arctic regional sea ice charts for marine navigation, climate research, and input to the Global Digital Sea Ice Data...

  6. Sea Ice Edge Location and Extent in the Russian Arctic, 1933-2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Sea Ice Edge Location and Extent in the Russian Arctic, 1933-2006 data are derived from sea ice charts from the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI),...

  7. Unified Sea Ice Thickness Climate Data Record Collection Spanning 1947-2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Unified Sea Ice Thickness Climate Data Record is the result of a concerted effort to collect as many observations as possible of Arctic sea-ice draft, freeboard,...

  8. Statistical Analysis of SSMIS Sea Ice Concentration Threshold at the Arctic Sea Ice Edge during Summer Based on MODIS and Ship-Based Observational Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Qing; Li, Fei; Pang, Xiaoping; Luo, Cong

    2018-04-05

    The threshold of sea ice concentration (SIC) is the basis for accurately calculating sea ice extent based on passive microwave (PM) remote sensing data. However, the PM SIC threshold at the sea ice edge used in previous studies and released sea ice products has not always been consistent. To explore the representable value of the PM SIC threshold corresponding on average to the position of the Arctic sea ice edge during summer in recent years, we extracted sea ice edge boundaries from the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sea ice product (MOD29 with a spatial resolution of 1 km), MODIS images (250 m), and sea ice ship-based observation points (1 km) during the fifth (CHINARE-2012) and sixth (CHINARE-2014) Chinese National Arctic Research Expeditions, and made an overlay and comparison analysis with PM SIC derived from Special Sensor Microwave Imager Sounder (SSMIS, with a spatial resolution of 25 km) in the summer of 2012 and 2014. Results showed that the average SSMIS SIC threshold at the Arctic sea ice edge based on ice-water boundary lines extracted from MOD29 was 33%, which was higher than that of the commonly used 15% discriminant threshold. The average SIC threshold at sea ice edge based on ice-water boundary lines extracted by visual interpretation from four scenes of the MODIS image was 35% when compared to the average value of 36% from the MOD29 extracted ice edge pixels for the same days. The average SIC of 31% at the sea ice edge points extracted from ship-based observations also confirmed that choosing around 30% as the SIC threshold during summer is recommended for sea ice extent calculations based on SSMIS PM data. These results can provide a reference for further studying the variation of sea ice under the rapidly changing Arctic.

  9. Low salinity and high-level UV-B radiation reduce single-cell activity in antarctic sea ice bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Andrew; Hall, Julie; Ryan, Ken

    2009-12-01

    Experiments simulating the sea ice cycle were conducted by exposing microbes from Antarctic fast ice to saline and irradiance regimens associated with the freeze-thaw process. In contrast to hypersaline conditions (ice formation), the simulated release of bacteria into hyposaline seawater combined with rapid exposure to increased UV-B radiation significantly reduced metabolic activity.

  10. Developing Remote Sensing Capabilities for Meter-Scale Sea Ice Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    Malinka and A. Prikchach, The melt pond fraction and spectral sea ice albedo retrieval from MERIS data: validation and trends of sea ice albedo and... Sea Ice Properties Chris Polashenski, PI USACE-CRREL Building 4070 Fort Wainwright, AK 99703 phone: (570) 956-6990 fax: (907) 361-5188...overarching goal of this work is to develop and validate remote sensing techniques to track sea ice physical properties of geophysical importance that

  11. Indicators of Arctic Sea Ice Bistability in Climate Model Simulations and Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    associated with the ice - albedo feedback and the seasonal melt and growth of sea ice , as well as horizontal climate variations on a global domain. (2...1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Indicators of Arctic Sea Ice Bistability in Climate...possibility that the climate system supports multiple Arctic sea ice states that are relevant for the evolution of sea ice during the next several

  12. Meteorological conditions in a thinner Arctic sea ice regime from winter to summer during the Norwegian Young Sea Ice expedition (N-ICE2015)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Lana; Hudson, Stephen R.; Walden, Von P.; Graham, Robert M.; Granskog, Mats A.

    2017-07-01

    Atmospheric measurements were made over Arctic sea ice north of Svalbard from winter to early summer (January-June) 2015 during the Norwegian Young Sea Ice (N-ICE2015) expedition. These measurements, which are available publicly, represent a comprehensive meteorological data set covering the seasonal transition in the Arctic Basin over the new, thinner sea ice regime. Winter was characterized by a succession of storms that produced short-lived (less than 48 h) temperature increases of 20 to 30 K at the surface. These storms were driven by the hemispheric scale circulation pattern with a large meridional component of the polar jet stream steering North Atlantic storms into the high Arctic. Nonstorm periods during winter were characterized by strong surface temperature inversions due to strong radiative cooling ("radiatively clear state"). The strength and depth of these inversions were similar to those during the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) campaign. In contrast, atmospheric profiles during the "opaquely cloudy state" were different to those from SHEBA due to differences in the synoptic conditions and location within the ice pack. Storm events observed during spring/summer were the result of synoptic systems located in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Basin rather than passing directly over N-ICE2015. These synoptic systems were driven by a large-scale circulation pattern typical of recent years, with an Arctic Dipole pattern developing during June. Surface temperatures became near-constant 0°C on 1 June marking the beginning of summer. Atmospheric profiles during the spring and early summer show persistent lifted temperature and moisture inversions that are indicative of clouds and cloud processes.

  13. The Impact of Sea Ice Loss on Wave Dynamics and Coastal Erosion Along the Arctic Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overeem, I.; Anderson, R. S.; Wobus, C. W.; Matell, N.; Urban, F. E.; Clow, G. D.; Stanton, T. P.

    2010-12-01

    The extent of Arctic sea ice has been shrinking rapidly over the past few decades, and attendant acceleration of erosion is now occurring along the Arctic coast. This both brings coastal infrastructure into harm’s way and promotes a complex response of the adjacent landscape to global change. We quantify the effects of declining sea ice extent on coastal erosion rates along a 75-km stretch of coastal permafrost bluffs adjacent to the Beaufort Sea, Alaska, where present-day erosion rates are among the highest in the world at ~14 m yr-1. Our own observations reinforce those of others, and suggest that the rate-limiting process is thermal erosion at the base of the several-meter tall bluffs. Here we focus on the interaction between the nearshore sea ice concentration, the location of the sea ice margin, and the fetch-limited, shallow water wave field, since these parameters ultimately control both sea surface temperatures and the height to which these waters can bathe the frozen bluffs. Thirty years of daily or bi-daily passive microwave data from Nimbus-7 SMMR and DMSP SSM/I satellites reveal that the nearshore open water season lengthened ~54 days over 1979-2009. The open water season, centered in August, expands more rapidly into the fall (September and October~0.92 day yr-1) than into the early summer (July~0.71 days yr-1). Average fetch, defined for our purposes as the distance from the sea ice margin to the coast over which the wind is blowing, increased by a factor 1.7 over the same time-span. Given these time series, we modeled daily nearshore wave heights during the open water season for each year, which we integrated to provide a quantitative metric for the annual exposure of the coastal bluffs to thermal erosion. This “annual wave exposure” increased by 250% during 1979-2009. In the same interval, coastal erosion rates reconstructed from satellite and aerial photo records show less acceleration. We attribute this to a disproportionate extension of the

  14. Respective roles of direct GHG radiative forcing and induced Arctic sea ice loss on the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oudar, Thomas; Sanchez-Gomez, Emilia; Chauvin, Fabrice; Cattiaux, Julien; Terray, Laurent; Cassou, Christophe

    2017-12-01

    The large-scale and synoptic-scale Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation responses to projected late twenty-first century Arctic sea ice decline induced by increasing Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) concentrations are investigated using the CNRM-CM5 coupled model. An original protocol, based on a flux correction technique, allows isolating the respective roles of GHG direct radiative effect and induced Arctic sea ice loss under RCP8.5 scenario. In winter, the surface atmospheric response clearly exhibits opposing effects between GHGs increase and Arctic sea ice loss, leading to no significant pattern in the total response (particularly in the North Atlantic region). An analysis based on Eady growth rate shows that Arctic sea ice loss drives the weakening in the low-level meridional temperature gradient, causing a general decrease of the baroclinicity in the mid and high latitudes, whereas the direct impact of GHGs increase is more located in the mid-to-high troposphere. Changes in the flow waviness, evaluated from sinuosity and blocking frequency metrics, are found to be small relative to inter-annual variability.

  15. Arctic energy budget in relation to sea ice variability on monthly-to-annual time scales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krikken, F.; Hazeleger, W.

    2015-01-01

    The large decrease in Arctic sea ice in recent years has triggered a strong interest in Arctic sea ice predictions on seasonal-to-decadal time scales. Hence, it is important to understand physical processes that provide enhanced predictability beyond persistence of sea ice anomalies. This study

  16. Sea-ice Thickness and Draft Statistics from Submarine ULS, Moored ULS, and a Coupled Model

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set consists of estimates of mean values of sea-ice thickness and sea-ice draft in meters computed from three different input data sets: sea ice draft from...

  17. Modeling the summertime evolution of sea-ice melt ponds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lüthje, Mikael; Feltham, D.L.; Taylor, P.D.

    2006-01-01

    We present a mathematical model describing the summer melting of sea ice. We simulate the evolution of melt ponds and determine area coverage and total surface ablation. The model predictions are tested for sensitivity to the melt rate of unponded ice, enhanced melt rate beneath the melt ponds...

  18. Polarimetric signatures of sea ice in the Greenland Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skriver, Henning; Pedersen, Leif Toudal

    1995-01-01

    Polarimetric SAR data of sea ice have been acquired by the Danish polarimetric SAR (EMISAR) during a mission at the Greenland Sea in August 1994. Video recordings from a low-altitude acquisition have been used for interpretation of the SAR data. Also, ERS-1 SAR data and NOAA AVHRR-data have been...

  19. Nonlinear threshold behavior during the loss of Arctic sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenman, I; Wettlaufer, J S

    2009-01-06

    In light of the rapid recent retreat of Arctic sea ice, a number of studies have discussed the possibility of a critical threshold (or "tipping point") beyond which the ice-albedo feedback causes the ice cover to melt away in an irreversible process. The focus has typically been centered on the annual minimum (September) ice cover, which is often seen as particularly susceptible to destabilization by the ice-albedo feedback. Here, we examine the central physical processes associated with the transition from ice-covered to ice-free Arctic Ocean conditions. We show that although the ice-albedo feedback promotes the existence of multiple ice-cover states, the stabilizing thermodynamic effects of sea ice mitigate this when the Arctic Ocean is ice covered during a sufficiently large fraction of the year. These results suggest that critical threshold behavior is unlikely during the approach from current perennial sea-ice conditions to seasonally ice-free conditions. In a further warmed climate, however, we find that a critical threshold associated with the sudden loss of the remaining wintertime-only sea ice cover may be likely.

  20. Fragmentation and melting of the seasonal sea ice cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feltham, D. L.; Bateson, A.; Schroeder, D.; Ridley, J. K.; Aksenov, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Recent years have seen a rapid reduction in the summer extent of Arctic sea ice. This trend has implications for navigation, oil exploration, wildlife, and local communities. Furthermore the Arctic sea ice cover impacts the exchange of heat and momentum between the ocean and atmosphere with significant teleconnections across the climate system, particularly mid to low latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. The treatment of melting and break-up processes of the seasonal sea ice cover within climate models is currently limited. In particular floes are assumed to have a uniform size which does not evolve with time. Observations suggest however that floe sizes can be modelled as truncated power law distributions, with different exponents for smaller and larger floes. This study aims to examine factors controlling the floe size distribution in the seasonal and marginal ice zone. This includes lateral melting, wave induced break-up of floes, and the feedback between floe size and the mixed ocean layer. These results are then used to quantify the proximate mechanisms of seasonal sea ice reduction in a sea ice—ocean mixed layer model. Observations are used to assess and calibrate the model. The impacts of introducing these processes to the model will be discussed and the preliminary results of sensitivity and feedback studies will also be presented.

  1. A modified discrete element model for sea ice dynamics

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Baohui; LI Hai; LIU Yu; WANG Anliang; JI Shunying

    2014-01-01

    Considering the discontinuous characteristics of sea ice on various scales, a modified discrete element mod-el (DEM) for sea ice dynamics is developed based on the granular material rheology. In this modified DEM, a soft sea ice particle element is introduced as a self-adjustive particle size function. Each ice particle can be treated as an assembly of ice floes, with its concentration and thickness changing to variable sizes un-der the conservation of mass. In this model, the contact forces among ice particles are calculated using a viscous-elastic-plastic model, while the maximum shear forces are described with the Mohr-Coulomb fric-tion law. With this modified DEM, the ice flow dynamics is simulated under the drags of wind and current in a channel of various widths. The thicknesses, concentrations and velocities of ice particles are obtained, and then reasonable dynamic process is analyzed. The sea ice dynamic process is also simulated in a vortex wind field. Taking the influence of thermodynamics into account, this modified DEM will be improved in the future work.

  2. Gypsum crystals observed in experimental and natural sea ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geilfus, Nicolas-Xavier; Galley, Ryan; Cooper, Marc

    2013-01-01

    , the gypsum crystals were identified as being authigenic. The FREeZing CHEMistry (FREZCHEM) model results support our observations of both gypsum and ikaite precipitation at typical in situ sea ice temperatures and confirms the “Gitterman pathway” where gypsum is predicted to precipitate. The occurrence...

  3. Arctic sea ice area changes in CMIP3 and CMIP5 climate models’ ensembles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. A. Semenov

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The shrinking Arctic sea ice cover observed during the last decades is probably the clearest manifestation of ongoing climate change. While climate models in general reproduce the sea ice retreat in the Arctic during the 20th century and simulate further sea ice area loss during the 21st century in response to anthropogenic forcing, the models suffer from large biases and the results exhibit considerable spread. Here, we compare results from the two last generations of climate models, CMIP3 and CMIP5, with respect to total and regional Arctic sea ice change. Different characteristics of sea ice area (SIA in March and September have been analysed for the Entire Arctic, Central Arctic and Barents Sea. Further, the sensitivity of SIA to changes in Northern Hemisphere (NH temperature is investigated and dynamical links between SIA and some atmospheric variability modes are assessed.CMIP3 (SRES A1B and CMIP5 (RCP8.5 models not only simulate a coherent decline of the Arctic SIA but also depict consistent changes in the SIA seasonal cycle. The spatial patterns of SIC variability improve in CMIP5 ensemble, most noticeably in summer when compared to HadISST1 data. A better simulation of summer SIA in the Entire Arctic by CMIP5 models is accompanied by a slightly increased bias for winter season in comparison to CMIP3 ensemble. SIA in the Barents Sea is strongly overestimated by the majority of CMIP3 and CMIP5 models, and projected SIA changes are characterized by a high uncertainty. Both CMIP ensembles depict a significant link between the SIA and NH temperature changes indicating that a part of inter-ensemble SIA spread comes from different temperature sensitivity to anthropogenic forcing. The results suggest that, in general, a sensitivity of SIA to external forcing is enhanced in CMIP5 models. Arctic SIA interannual variability in the end of the 20th century is on average well simulated by both ensembles. To the end of the 21st century, September

  4. Snow depth retrieval from L-band satellite measurements on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maaß, N.; Kaleschke, L.; Wever, N.; Lehning, M.; Nicolaus, M.; Rossmann, H. L.

    2017-12-01

    The passive microwave mission SMOS provides daily coverage of the polar regions and measures at a low frequency of 1.4 GHz (L-band). SMOS observations have been used to operationally retrieve sea ice thickness up to 1 m and to estimate snow depth in the Arctic for thicker ice. Here, we present how SMOS-retrieved snow depths compare with airborne measurements from NASA's Operation IceBridge mission (OIB) and with AMSR-2 satellite retrievals at higher frequencies, and we show first applications to Antarctic sea ice. In previous studies, SMOS and OIB snow depths showed good agreement on spatial scales from 50 to 1000 km for some days and disagreement for other days. Here, we present a more comprehensive comparison of OIB and SMOS snow depths in the Arctic for 2011 to 2015. We find that the SMOS retrieval works best for cold conditions and depends on auxiliary information on ice surface temperature, here provided by MODIS thermal imagery satellite data. However, comparing SMOS and OIB snow depths is difficult because of the different spatial resolutions (SMOS: 40 km, OIB: 40 m). Spatial variability within the SMOS footprint can lead to different snow conditions as seen from SMOS and OIB. Ideally the comparison is made for uniform conditions: Low lead and open water fraction, low spatial and temporal variability of ice surface temperature, no mixture of multi- and first-year ice. Under these conditions and cold temperatures (surface temperatures below -25°C), correlation coefficients between SMOS and OIB snow depths increase from 0.3 to 0.6. A finding from the comparison with AMSR-2 snow depths is that the SMOS-based maps depend less on the age of the sea ice than the maps derived from higher frequencies. Additionally, we show first results of SMOS snow depths for Antarctic sea ice. SMOS observations are compared to measurements of autonomous snow buoys drifting in the Weddell Sea since 2014. For a better comparability of these point measurements with SMOS data, we use

  5. Contribution of Deformation to Sea Ice Mass Balance: A Case Study From an N-ICE2015 Storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itkin, Polona; Spreen, Gunnar; Hvidegaard, Sine Munk; Skourup, Henriette; Wilkinson, Jeremy; Gerland, Sebastian; Granskog, Mats A.

    2018-01-01

    The fastest and most efficient process of gaining sea ice volume is through the mechanical redistribution of mass as a consequence of deformation events. During the ice growth season divergent motion produces leads where new ice grows thermodynamically, while convergent motion fractures the ice and either piles the resultant ice blocks into ridges or rafts one floe under the other. Here we present an exceptionally detailed airborne data set from a 9 km2 area of first year and second year ice in the Transpolar Drift north of Svalbard that allowed us to estimate the redistribution of mass from an observed deformation event. To achieve this level of detail we analyzed changes in sea ice freeboard acquired from two airborne laser scanner surveys just before and right after a deformation event brought on by a passing low-pressure system. A linear regression model based on divergence during this storm can explain 64% of freeboard variability. Over the survey region we estimated that about 1.3% of level sea ice volume was pressed together into deformed ice and the new ice formed in leads in a week after the deformation event would increase the sea ice volume by 0.5%. As the region is impacted by about 15 storms each winter, a simple linear extrapolation would result in about 7% volume increase and 20% deformed ice fraction at the end of the season.

  6. Observed microphysical changes in Arctic mixed-phase clouds when transitioning from sea ice to open ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Young

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available In situ airborne observations of cloud microphysics, aerosol properties, and thermodynamic structure over the transition from sea ice to ocean are presented from the Aerosol-Cloud Coupling And Climate Interactions in the Arctic (ACCACIA campaign. A case study from 23 March 2013 provides a unique view of the cloud microphysical changes over this transition under cold-air outbreak conditions. Cloud base lifted and cloud depth increased over the transition from sea ice to ocean. Mean droplet number concentrations, Ndrop, also increased from 110 ± 36 cm−3 over the sea ice to 145 ± 54 cm−3 over the marginal ice zone (MIZ. Downstream over the ocean, Ndrop decreased to 63 ± 30 cm−3. This reduction was attributed to enhanced collision-coalescence of droplets within the deep ocean cloud layer. The liquid water content increased almost four fold over the transition and this, in conjunction with the deeper cloud layer, allowed rimed snowflakes to develop and precipitate out of cloud base downstream over the ocean. The ice properties of the cloud remained approximately constant over the transition. Observed ice crystal number concentrations averaged approximately 0.5–1.5 L−1, suggesting only primary ice nucleation was active; however, there was evidence of crystal fragmentation at cloud base over the ocean. Little variation in aerosol particle number concentrations was observed between the different surface conditions; however, some variability with altitude was observed, with notably greater concentrations measured at higher altitudes ( >  800 m over the sea ice. Near-surface boundary layer temperatures increased by 13 °C from sea ice to ocean, with corresponding increases in surface heat fluxes and turbulent kinetic energy. These significant thermodynamic changes were concluded to be the primary driver of the microphysical evolution of the cloud. This study represents the first investigation, using in situ

  7. Diatom-induced silicon isotopic fractionation in Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francois, F.; Damien, C.; Jean-Louis, T.; Anthony, W.; Luc, A.

    2006-12-01

    We measured silicon-isotopic composition of dissolved silicon and biogenic silica collected by sequential melting from spring 2003 Antarctic pack ice (Australian sector). Sea ice is a key ecosystem in the Southern Ocean and its melting in spring has been often thought to have a seeding effect for the surface waters, triggering blooms in the mixed layer. This work is the first investigation of the silicon isotopes' proxy in sea ice and allows to estimate the activity of sea-ice diatoms in the different brine structures and the influence of sea- ice diatoms on the spring ice edge blooms. The relative use of the dissolved silicon pool by sea-ice diatoms is usually assessed by calculating nutrient:salinity ratios in the brines. However such an approach is biased by difficulties in evaluating the initial nutrient concentrations in the different brines structures, and by the impossibility to account for late sporadic nutrient replenishments. The silicon-isotopic composition of biogenic silica is a convenient alternative since it integrates an average Si utilization on all generations of diatoms. Measurements were performed on a MC-ICP-MS, in dry plasma mode using external Mg doping. Results are expressed as delta29Si relative to the NBS28 standard. From three sea ice cores with contrasted physico-chemical characteristics, we report significant isotopic fractionations linked to the diatoms activity, with distinct silicon biogeochemical dynamics between different brine structure. The diatoms in snow ice and in brine pockets of frazil or congelation ice have the most positive silicon-isotopic composition (+0.53 to +0.86 p.mil), indicating that they grow in a closed system and use a significant part of the small dissolved silicon pool. In the brine channels and skeletal layer, diatoms display a relatively less positive Si-isotopic composition (+0.41 to +0.70 p.mil), although it is still heavier compared to equilibrium fractionation (+0.38 p.mil). This suggests that they have

  8. The Antarctic Ice Sheet, Sea Ice, and the Ozone Hole: Satellite Observations of how they are Changing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.

    2012-01-01

    Antarctica is the Earth's coldest and highest continent and has major impacts on the climate and life of the south polar vicinity. It is covered almost entirely by the Earth's largest ice sheet by far, with a volume of ice so great that if all the Antarctic ice were to go into the ocean (as ice or liquid water), this would produce a global sea level rise of about 60 meters (197 feet). The continent is surrounded by sea ice that in the wintertime is even more expansive than the continent itself and in the summertime reduces to only about a sixth of its wintertime extent. Like the continent, the expansive sea ice cover has major impacts, reflecting the sun's radiation back to space, blocking exchanges between the ocean and the atmosphere, and providing a platform for some animal species while impeding other species. Far above the continent, the Antarctic ozone hole is a major atmospheric phenomenon recognized as human-caused and potentially quite serious to many different life forms. Satellites are providing us with remarkable information about the ice sheet, the sea ice, and the ozone hole. Satellite visible and radar imagery are providing views of the large scale structure of the ice sheet never seen before; satellite laser altimetry has produced detailed maps of the topography of the ice sheet; and an innovative gravity-measuring two-part satellite has allowed mapping of regions of mass loss and mass gain on the ice sheet. The surrounding sea ice cover has a satellite record that goes back to the 1970s, allowing trend studies that show a decreasing sea ice presence in the region of the Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas, to the west of the prominent Antarctic Peninsula, but increasing sea ice presence around much of the rest of the continent. Overall, sea ice extent around Antarctica has increased at an average rate of about 17,000 square kilometers per year since the late 1970s, as determined from satellite microwave data that can be collected under both light and

  9. Early Student Support to Investigate the Role of Sea Ice-Albedo Feedback in Sea Ice Predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    with a heritage stemming from work by Thorndike et al (1975), Bitz et al (2001), and Lipscomb (2001). The sea ice thermodynamics is from Bitz and...K. Shell, J. Kiehl and C. Shields, 2008: Quantifying climate feedbacks using ra- diative kernels. J. Climate, 21, 3504–3520. Thorndike , A. S

  10. Ramifications of a potential gap in passive microwave data for the long-term sea ice climate record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, W.; Stewart, J. S.

    2017-12-01

    The time series of sea ice concentration and extent from passive microwave sensors is one of the longest satellite-derived climate records and the significant decline in Arctic sea ice extent is one of the most iconic indicators of climate change. However, this continuous and consistent record is under threat due to the looming gap in passive microwave sensor coverage. The record started in late 1978 with the launch of the Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) and has continued with a series of Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSMI) and Special Sensor Microwave Imager and Sounder (SSMIS) instruments on U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites. The data from the different sensors are intercalibrated at the algorithm level by adjusting algorithm coefficients so that the output sea ice data is as consistent as possible between the older and the newer sensor. A key aspect in constructing the time series is to have at least two sensors operating simultaneously so that data from the older and newer sensor can be obtained from the same locations. However, with recent losses of the DMSP F19 and F20, the remaining SSMIS sensors are all well beyond their planned mission lifetime. This means that risk of failure is not small and is increasing with each day of operation. The newest passive microwave sensor, the JAXA Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-2 (AMSR2), is a potential contributor to the time series (though it too is now beyond it's planned 5-year mission lifetime). However, AMSR2's larger antenna and higher spatial resolution presents a challenge in integrating its data with the rest of the sea ice record because the ice edge is quite sensitive to the sensor resolution, which substantially affects the total sea ice extent and area estimates. This will need to be adjusted for if AMSR2 is used to continue the time series. Here we will discuss efforts at NSIDC to integrate AMSR2 estimates into the sea ice climate record if needed. We

  11. Neoglacial Antarctic sea-ice expansion driven by mid-Holocene retreat of the Ross Ice Shelf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bendle, J. A.; Newton, K.; Mckay, R. M.; Crosta, X.; Etourneau, J.; Anya, A. B.; Seki, O.; Golledge, N. R.; Bertler, N. A. N.; Willmott, V.; Schouten, S.; Riesselman, C. R.; Masse, G.; Dunbar, R. B.

    2017-12-01

    Recent decades have seen expanding Antarctic sea-ice coverage, coeval with thinning West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) ice shelves and the rapid freshening of surface and bottom waters along the Antarctic margin. The mid-Holocene Neoglacial transition represents the last comparable baseline shift in sea-ice behaviour. The drivers and feedbacks involved in both the recent and Holocene events are poorly understood and characterised by large proxy-model mismatches. We present new records of compound specific fatty acid isotope analyses (δ2H-FA), highly-branched isoprenoid alkenes (HBIs) TEX86L temperatures, grain-size, mass accumulations rates (MARs) and image analyses from a 171m Holocene sediment sequence from Site U1357 (IODP leg 318). In combination with published records we reconstruct Holocene changes in glacial meltwater, sedimentary inputs and sea-ice. The early Holocene (11 to 10 ka) is characterised by large fluctuations in inputs of deglacial meltwater and sediments and seismic evidence of downlapping material from the south, suggesting a dominating influence from glacial retreat of the local outlet glaciers. From 10 to 8 ka there is decreasing meltwater inputs, an onlapping drift and advection of material from the east. After ca. 8 ka positively correlated δ2H-FA and MARs infer that pulses of glacial melt correlate to stronger easterly currents, driving erosion of material from upstream banks and that the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS) becomes a major influence. A large mid-Holocene meltwater pulse (preceded by warming TEX86L temperatures) is evident between ca. 6 to 4.5 ka, culminating in a rapid and permanent increase in sea-ice from 4.5 ka. This is coeval with cosmogenic nuclide evidence for a rapid thinning of the Antarctic ice sheet during the mid-Holocene (Hein et al., 2016). We suggest this represents a final major pulse of deglaciation from the Ross Ice Shelf, which initiates the Neoglacial, driving cool surface waters along the coast and greater sea-ice

  12. L-band radiometry for sea ice applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heygster, G.; Hedricks, S.; Mills, P.; Kaleschke, L.; Stammer, D.; Tonboe, R.

    2009-04-01

    Although sea ice remote sensing has reached the level of operational exploitation with well established retrieval methods, several important tasks are still unsolved. In particular during freezing and melting periods with mixed ice and water surfaces, estimates of ice concentration with passive and active microwave sensors remain challenging. Newly formed thin ice is also hard to distinguish from open water with radiometers for frequencies above 8 GHz. The SMOS configuration (planned launch 2009) with a radiometer at 1.4 GHz is a promising technique to complement observations at higher microwave frequencies. ESA has initiated a project to investigate the possibilities for an additional Level-2 sea ice data product based on SMOS. In detail, the project objectives are (1) to model the L band emission of sea ice, and to assess the potential (2) to retrieve sea ice parameters, especially concentration and thickness, and (3) to use cold water regions for an external calibration of SMOS. Modelling of L band emission: Several models have are investigated. All of them work on the same basic principles and have a vertically-layered, plane-parallel geometry. They are comprised of three basic components: (1) effective permittivities are calculated for each layer based on ice bulk and micro-structural properties; (2) these are integrated across the total depth to derive emitted brightness temperature; (3) scattering terms can also be added because of the granular structure of ice and snow. MEMLS (Microwave Emission Model of Layered Snowpacks (Wiesmann and Matzler 1999)) is one such model that contains all three elements in a single Matlab program. In the absence of knowledge about the internal structure of the sea ice, three-layer (air, ice and water) dielectric slab models which take as input a single effective permittivity for the ice layer are appropriate. By ignoring scattering effects one can derive a simple analytic expression for a dielectric slab as shown by Apinis and

  13. Friend or Foe: Variability in How Sea Ice Can Both Hinder and Enhance Phytoplankton Blooms Across the Southern Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, T.

    2016-02-01

    Globally, a suite of physical and biogeochemical controls govern the structure, size, and timing of seasonal phytoplankton blooms. In the Southern Ocean, the introduction of seasonal sea ice provides an additional constraining factor. From a bottom-up perspective, a reduction in sea ice can both enhance bloom development by permitting greater levels of surface PAR uninhibited by ice and suppress a bloom when reduced fresh melt-water inputs and increased vulnerability to wind stress combine to create deeper mixed layers and decrease depth integrated light availability. Regions along the Western Antarctic Peninsula have already seen a contradictory response to reduced ice cover, with enhanced summertime chlorophyll concentrations in the South, and large declines to the North. This dichotomy is thought to arise from differences in the interannual mean sea ice state, with extensively ice covered regions benefiting from reduced coverage and more sparsely covered regions hindered by further reductions. The questions arises: 1) At what threshold does a reduction in sea ice transition from amplifying blooms to suppressing them? 2) How do additional environmental considerations such as nutrient availability and trophic interactions complicate this transition? Here, we combine remote sensing observations and in-situ data (from PAL LTER) with a hierarchy of 1-D water column and global general circulation (CESM) models to access the variability in how regional differences in mean ice state combine with other environmental forcings to dictate how interannual variability (or long term trends) in ice coverage will affect bloom structure, size and dynamics. In doing so we will gain a better understanding of how predicted changes in sea ice will effect Southern Ocean productivity, which of course will have important consequences in the global carbon cycle and sustainability of healthy marine ecosystems.

  14. The storm tracks and the energy cycle of the Southern Hemisphere: sensitivity to sea-ice boundary conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. G. Menéndez

    1999-11-01

    Full Text Available The effect of sea-ice on various aspects of the Southern Hemisphere (SH extratropical climate is examined. Two simulations using the LMD GCM are performed: a control run with the observed sea-ice distribution and an anomaly run in which all SH sea-ice is replaced by open ocean. When sea-ice is removed, the mean sea level pressure displays anomalies predominantly negatives near the Antarctic coast. In general, the meridional temperature gradient is reduced over most of the Southern Ocean, the polar jet is weaker and the sea level pressure rises equatorward of the control ice edge. The high frequency filtered standard deviation of both the sea level pressure and the 300-hPa geopotential height decreases over the southern Pacific and southwestern Atlantic oceans, especially to the north of the ice edge (as prescribed in the control. In contrast, over the Indian Ocean the perturbed simulation exhibits less variability equatorward of about 50°S and increased variability to the south. The zonal averages of the zonal and eddy potential and kinetic energies were evaluated. The effect of removing sea-ice is to diminish the available potential energy of the mean zonal flow, the available potential energy of the perturbations, the kinetic energy of the growing disturbances and the kinetic energy of the mean zonal flow over most of the Southern Ocean. The zonally averaged intensity of the subpolar trough and the rate of the baroclinic energy conversions are also weaker.Key words. Air-sea interactions · Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (climatology; ocean · atmosphere interactions

  15. The storm tracks and the energy cycle of the Southern Hemisphere: sensitivity to sea-ice boundary conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. G. Menéndez

    Full Text Available The effect of sea-ice on various aspects of the Southern Hemisphere (SH extratropical climate is examined. Two simulations using the LMD GCM are performed: a control run with the observed sea-ice distribution and an anomaly run in which all SH sea-ice is replaced by open ocean. When sea-ice is removed, the mean sea level pressure displays anomalies predominantly negatives near the Antarctic coast. In general, the meridional temperature gradient is reduced over most of the Southern Ocean, the polar jet is weaker and the sea level pressure rises equatorward of the control ice edge. The high frequency filtered standard deviation of both the sea level pressure and the 300-hPa geopotential height decreases over the southern Pacific and southwestern Atlantic oceans, especially to the north of the ice edge (as prescribed in the control. In contrast, over the Indian Ocean the perturbed simulation exhibits less variability equatorward of about 50°S and increased variability to the south. The zonal averages of the zonal and eddy potential and kinetic energies were evaluated. The effect of removing sea-ice is to diminish the available potential energy of the mean zonal flow, the available potential energy of the perturbations, the kinetic energy of the growing disturbances and the kinetic energy of the mean zonal flow over most of the Southern Ocean. The zonally averaged intensity of the subpolar trough and the rate of the baroclinic energy conversions are also weaker.

    Key words. Air-sea interactions · Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (climatology; ocean · atmosphere interactions

  16. Climate change influences on environment as a determinant of Indigenous health: Relationships to place, sea ice, and health in an Inuit community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durkalec, Agata; Furgal, Chris; Skinner, Mark W; Sheldon, Tom

    2015-07-01

    This paper contributes to the literature on Indigenous health, human dimensions of climate change, and place-based dimensions of health by examining the role of environment for Inuit health in the context of a changing climate. We investigated the relationship between one key element of the environment - sea ice - and diverse aspects of health in an Inuit community in northern Canada, drawing on population health and health geography approaches. We used a case study design and participatory and collaborative approach with the community of Nain in northern Labrador, Canada. Focus groups (n = 2), interviews (n = 22), and participant observation were conducted in 2010-11. We found that an appreciation of place was critical for understanding the full range of health influences of sea ice use for Inuit. Negative physical health impacts were reported on less frequently than positive health benefits of sea ice use, which were predominantly related to mental/emotional, spiritual, social, and cultural health. We found that sea ice means freedom for sea ice users, which we suggest influences individual and collective health through relationships between sea ice use, culture, knowledge, and autonomy. While sea ice users reported increases in negative physical health impacts such as injuries and stress related to changing environmental conditions, we suggest that less tangible climate change impacts related to losses of health benefits and disruptions to place meanings and place attachment may be even more significant. Our findings indicate that climate change is resulting in and compounding existing environmental dispossession for Inuit. They also demonstrate the necessity of considering place meanings, culture, and socio-historical context to assess the complexity of climate change impacts on Indigenous environmental health. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Geoengineering by cloud seeding: influence on sea ice and climate system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rasch, Philip J; Latham, John; Chen, Chih-Chieh

    2009-01-01

    General circulation model computations using a fully coupled ocean-atmosphere model indicate that increasing cloud reflectivity by seeding maritime boundary layer clouds with particles made from seawater may compensate for some of the effects on climate of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. The chosen seeding strategy (one of many possible scenarios) can restore global averages of temperature, precipitation and sea ice to present day values, but not simultaneously. The response varies nonlinearly with the extent of seeding, and geoengineering generates local changes to important climatic features. The global tradeoffs of restoring ice cover, and cooling the planet, must be assessed alongside the local changes to climate features.

  18. Assessment of the sea-ice carbon pump

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grimm, R.; Notz, D.; Glud, Ronnie N.

    2016-01-01

    -induced oceanic CO2 uptake ranges from 2 to 14 Tg C yr−1, which is up to 7% of the simulated net CO2 uptake in polar regions, but far less than 1% of the cur-rent global oceanic CO2 uptake. Hence, while we find that the SICP plays a minor role in the modern global carbon cycle, it is of importance......It has been suggested that geochemical processes related to sea-ice growth and melt might be important for the polar carbon cycle via the so called sea-ice carbon pump (SICP). The SICP affects the air-sea CO2 exchange by influencing the composition of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and total...... for the regional carbon cycle at high latitudes....

  19. Polynyas in a dynamic-thermodynamic sea-ice model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Ö. Ólason

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The representation of polynyas in viscous-plastic dynamic-thermodynamic sea-ice models is studied in a simplified test domain, in order to give recommendations about parametrisation choices. Bjornsson et al. (2001 validated their dynamic-thermodynamic model against a polynya flux model in a similar setup and we expand on that work here, testing more sea-ice rheologies and new-ice thickness formulations. The two additional rheologies tested give nearly identical results whereas the two new-ice thickness parametrisations tested give widely different results. Based on our results we argue for using the new-ice thickness parametrisation of Hibler (1979. We also implement a new parametrisation for the parameter h0 from Hibler's scheme, based on ideas from a collection depth parametrisation for flux polynya models.

  20. Anatomy of a late spring snowfall on sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perovich, Donald; Polashenski, Christopher; Arntsen, Alexandra; Stwertka, Carolyn

    2017-03-01

    Spring melt initiation is a critical process for Arctic sea ice. Melting conditions decrease surface albedo at a time of high insolation, triggering powerful albedo feedback. Weather events during melt initiation, such as new snowfalls, can stop or reverse the albedo decline, however. Here we present field observations of such a snow event and demonstrate its enduring impact through summer. Snow fell 3-6 June 2014 in the Chukchi Sea, halting melt onset. The snow not only raised albedo but also provided a significant negative latent heat flux, averaging -51 W m-2 from 3 to 6 June. The snowfall delayed sustained melt by 11 days, creating cascading impacts on surface energy balance that totaled some 135 MJ/m2 by mid-August. The findings highlight the sensitivity of sea ice conditions on seasonal time scales to melt initiation processes.

  1. Summer Arctic sea ice character from satellite microwave data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carsey, F. D.

    1985-01-01

    It is pointed out that Arctic sea ice and its environment undergo a number of changes during the summer period. Some of these changes affect the ice cover properties and, in turn, their response to thermal and mechanical forcing throughout the year. The main objective of this investigation is related to the development of a method for estimating the areal coverage of exposed ice, melt ponds, and leads, which are the basic surface variables determining the local surface albedo. The study is based on data obtained in a field investigation conducted from Mould Bay (NWT), Nimbus 5 satellite data, and Seasat data. The investigation demonstrates that microwave data from satellites, especially microwave brightness temperature, provide good data for estimating important characteristics of summer sea ice cover.

  2. Arctic sea-ice ridges—Safe heavens for sea-ice fauna during periods of extreme ice melt?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gradinger, Rolf; Bluhm, Bodil; Iken, Katrin

    2010-01-01

    The abundances and distribution of metazoan within-ice meiofauna (13 stations) and under-ice fauna (12 stations) were investigated in level sea ice and sea-ice ridges in the Chukchi/Beaufort Seas and Canada Basin in June/July 2005 using a combination of ice coring and SCUBA diving. Ice meiofauna abundance was estimated based on live counts in the bottom 30 cm of level sea ice based on triplicate ice core sampling at each location, and in individual ice chunks from ridges at four locations. Under-ice amphipods were counted in situ in replicate ( N=24-65 per station) 0.25 m 2 quadrats using SCUBA to a maximum water depth of 12 m. In level sea ice, the most abundant ice meiofauna groups were Turbellaria (46%), Nematoda (35%), and Harpacticoida (19%), with overall low abundances per station that ranged from 0.0 to 10.9 ind l -1 (median 0.8 ind l -1). In level ice, low ice algal pigment concentrations (Turbellaria, Nematoda and Harpacticoida also were observed in pressure ridges (0-200 ind l -1, median 40 ind l -1), although values were highly variable and only medians of Turbellaria were significantly higher in ridge ice than in level ice. Median abundances of under-ice amphipods at all ice types (level ice, various ice ridge structures) ranged from 8 to 114 ind m -2 per station and mainly consisted of Apherusa glacialis (87%), Onisimus spp. (7%) and Gammarus wilkitzkii (6%). Highest amphipod abundances were observed in pressure ridges at depths >3 m where abundances were up to 42-fold higher compared with level ice. We propose that the summer ice melt impacted meiofauna and under-ice amphipod abundance and distribution through (a) flushing, and (b) enhanced salinity stress at thinner level sea ice (less than 3 m thickness). We further suggest that pressure ridges, which extend into deeper, high-salinity water, become accumulation regions for ice meiofauna and under-ice amphipods in summer. Pressure ridges thus might be crucial for faunal survival during periods of

  3. What sea-ice biogeochemical modellers need from observers

    OpenAIRE

    Steiner, Nadja; Deal, Clara; Lannuzel, Delphine; Lavoie, Diane; Massonnet, François; Miller, Lisa A.; Moreau, Sebastien; Popova, Ekaterina; Stefels, Jacqueline; Tedesco, Letizia

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Numerical models can be a powerful tool helping to understand the role biogeochemical processes play in local and global systems and how this role may be altered in a changing climate. With respect to sea-ice biogeochemical models, our knowledge is severely limited by our poor confidence in numerical model parameterisations representing those processes. Improving model parameterisations requires communication between observers and modellers to guide model development and improve the ...

  4. Sea-Ice Feature Mapping using JERS-1 Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maslanik, James; Heinrichs, John

    1994-01-01

    JERS-1 SAR and OPS imagery are examined in combination with other data sets to investigate the utility of the JERS-1 sensors for mapping fine-scale sea ice conditions. Combining ERS-1 C band and JERS-1 L band SAR aids in discriminating multiyear and first-year ice. Analysis of OPS imagery for a field site in the Canadian Archipelago highlights the advantages of OPS's high spatial and spectral resolution for mapping ice structure, melt pond distribution, and surface albedo.

  5. Bowhead whale body condition and links to summer sea ice and upwelling in the Beaufort Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, John C.; Druckenmiller, Matthew L.; Laidre, Kristin L.; Suydam, Robert; Person, Brian

    2015-08-01

    We examined the response of bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) body condition to summer sea ice conditions and upwelling-favorable winds. We used a long-term dataset collected from whales of the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Seas (BCB) stock to estimate various body condition indices (BCI's) for individual whales that were harvested by Alaskan Eskimos. A series of offshore regions frequented by bowhead whales in summer were delineated and used to quantify interannual summertime environmental conditions including: (a) mean open water fraction, (b) duration of melt season, (c) date of continuous freeze-up, and (d) mean upwelling-favorable wind stress. Body condition was analyzed relative to these metrics for both the preceding summer feeding season and the previous three seasons combined. Our analysis indicates a significant increase in the long-term trend in an axillary girth-based body condition index (BCIG) over the study period (1989-2011). The increase in BCIG is likely associated with the trend in overall reduction of sea ice, including increased duration of open water, changes in upwelling potential (wind stress), and possibly higher primary production in the Pacific Arctic marine ecosystem favoring water-column invertebrates. We found strong significant positive correlations between BCIG and late summer open water fraction in the Beaufort Sea and smaller nearshore areas off the Mackenzie Delta and west of Banks Island. Additionally, BCIG was positively and significantly correlated with duration of melt season, later date of freeze-up in the Beaufort Sea, and upwelling-favorable winds on the Mackenzie shelf and west of Banks Island. A strong seasonal difference in BCI's was noted for subadult bowheads, presumably associated with summer feeding; however, yearlings were found to drop in BCI over at least the first summer after weaning. Our results indicate an overall increase in bowhead whale body condition and a positive correlation with summer sea ice loss over the

  6. ICESat Observations of Arctic Sea Ice: A First Look

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwok, Ron; Zwally, H. Jay; Yi, Donghui

    2004-01-01

    Analysis of near-coincident ICESat and RADARSAT imagery shows that the retrieved elevations from the laser altimeter are sensitive to new openings (containing thin ice or open water) in the sea ice cover as well as to surface relief of old and first-year ice. The precision of the elevation estimates, measured over relatively flat sea ice, is approx. 2 cm. Using the thickness of thin-ice in recent openings to estimate sea level references, we obtain the sea-ice freeboard along the altimeter tracks. This step is necessitated by the large uncertainties in the sea surface topography compared to that required for accurate determination of freeboard. Unknown snow depth introduces the largest uncertainty in the conversion of freeboard to ice thickness. Surface roughness is also derived, for the first time, from the variability of successive elevation estimates along the altimeter track. Overall, these ICESat measurements provide an unprecedented view of the Arctic Ocean ice cover at length scales at and above the spatial dimension of the altimeter footprint of approx. 70 m.

  7. Optical properties of melting first-year Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Light, Bonnie; Perovich, Donald K.; Webster, Melinda A.; Polashenski, Christopher; Dadic, Ruzica

    2015-11-01

    The albedo and transmittance of melting, first-year Arctic sea ice were measured during two cruises of the Impacts of Climate on the Eco-Systems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment (ICESCAPE) project during the summers of 2010 and 2011. Spectral measurements were made for both bare and ponded ice types at a total of 19 ice stations in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. These data, along with irradiance profiles taken within boreholes, laboratory measurements of the optical properties of core samples, ice physical property observations, and radiative transfer model simulations are employed to describe representative optical properties for melting first-year Arctic sea ice. Ponded ice was found to transmit roughly 4.4 times more total energy into the ocean, relative to nearby bare ice. The ubiquitous surface-scattering layer and drained layer present on bare, melting sea ice are responsible for its relatively high albedo and relatively low transmittance. Light transmittance through ponded ice depends on the physical thickness of the ice and the magnitude of the scattering coefficient in the ice interior. Bare ice reflects nearly three-quarters of the incident sunlight, enhancing its resiliency to absorption by solar insolation. In contrast, ponded ice absorbs or transmits to the ocean more than three-quarters of the incident sunlight. Characterization of the heat balance of a summertime ice cover is largely dictated by its pond coverage, and light transmittance through ponded ice shows strong contrast between first-year and multiyear Arctic ice covers.

  8. SPH Modelling of Sea-ice Pack Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staroszczyk, Ryszard

    2017-12-01

    The paper is concerned with the problem of sea-ice pack motion and deformation under the action of wind and water currents. Differential equations describing the dynamics of ice, with its very distinct mateFfigrial responses in converging and diverging flows, express the mass and linear momentum balances on the horizontal plane (the free surface of the ocean). These equations are solved by the fully Lagrangian method of smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH). Assuming that the ice behaviour can be approximated by a non-linearly viscous rheology, the proposed SPH model has been used to simulate the evolution of a sea-ice pack driven by wind drag stresses. The results of numerical simulations illustrate the evolution of an ice pack, including variations in ice thickness and ice area fraction in space and time. The effects of different initial ice pack configurations and of different conditions assumed at the coast-ice interface are examined. In particular, the SPH model is applied to a pack flow driven by a vortex wind to demonstrate how well the Lagrangian formulation can capture large deformations and displacements of sea ice.

  9. Large sea ice outflow into the Nares Strait in 2007

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kwok, R.; Pedersen, L.T.; Gudmandsen, Preben

    2010-01-01

    Sea ice flux through the Nares Strait is most active during the fall and early winter, ceases in mid- to late winter after the formation of ice arches along the strait, and re-commences after breakup in summer. In 2007, ice arches failed to form. This resulted in the highest outflow of Arctic sea...... at Fram Strait. Clearly, the ice arches control Arctic sea ice outflow. The duration of unobstructed flow explains more than 84% of the variance in the annual area flux. In our record, seasonal stoppages are always associated with the formation of an arch near the same location in the southern Kane Basin...... ice in the 13-year record between 1997 and 2009. The 2007 area and volume outflows of 87 x 10(3) km(2) and 254 km(3) are more than twice their 13-year means. This contributes to the recent loss of the thick, multiyear Arctic sea ice and represents similar to 10% of our estimates of the mean ice export...

  10. [Bacterial diversity within different sections of summer sea-ice samples from the Prydz Bay, Antarctica].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Jifei; Du, Zongjun; Luo, Wei; Yu, Yong; Zeng, Yixin; Chen, Bo; Li, Huirong

    2013-02-04

    In order to assess bacterial abundance and diversity within three different sections of summer sea-ice samples collected from the Prydz Bay, Antarctica. Fluorescence in situ hybridization was applied to determine the proportions of Bacteria in sea-ice. Bacterial community composition within sea ice was analyzed by 16S rRNA gene clone library construction. Correlation analysis was performed between the physicochemical parameters and the bacterial diversity and abundance within sea ice. The result of fluorescence in situ hybridization shows that bacteria were abundant in the bottom section, and the concentration of total organic carbon, total organic nitrogen and phosphate may be the main factors for bacterial abundance. In bacterial 16S rRNA gene libraries of sea-ice, nearly complete 16S rRNA gene sequences were grouped into three distinct lineages of Bacteria (gamma-Proteobacteria, alpha-Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes). Most clone sequences were related to cultured bacterial isolates from the marine environment, arctic and Antarctic sea-ice with high similarity. The member of Bacteroidetes was not detected in the bottom section of sea-ice. The bacterial communities within sea-ice were little heterogeneous at the genus-level between different sections, and the concentration of NH4+ may cause this distribution. The number of bacteria was abundant in the bottom section of sea-ice. Gamma-proteobacteria was the dominant bacterial lineage in sea-ice.

  11. Direct observations of atmosphere - sea ice - ocean interactions during Arctic winter and spring storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, R. M.; Itkin, P.; Granskog, M. A.; Assmy, P.; Cohen, L.; Duarte, P.; Doble, M. J.; Fransson, A.; Fer, I.; Fernandez Mendez, M.; Frey, M. M.; Gerland, S.; Haapala, J. J.; Hudson, S. R.; Liston, G. E.; Merkouriadi, I.; Meyer, A.; Muilwijk, M.; Peterson, A.; Provost, C.; Randelhoff, A.; Rösel, A.; Spreen, G.; Steen, H.; Smedsrud, L. H.; Sundfjord, A.

    2017-12-01

    To study the thinner and younger sea ice that now dominates the Arctic the Norwegian Young Sea ICE expedition (N-ICE2015) was launched in the ice-covered region north of Svalbard, from January to June 2015. During this time, eight local and remote storms affected the region and rare direct observations of the atmosphere, snow, ice and ocean were conducted. Six of these winter storms passed directly over the expedition and resulted in air temperatures rising from below -30oC to near 0oC, followed by abrupt cooling. Substantial snowfall prior to the campaign had already formed a snow pack of approximately 50 cm, to which the February storms contributed an additional 6 cm. The deep snow layer effectively isolated the ice cover and prevented bottom ice growth resulting in low brine fluxes. Peak wind speeds during winter storms exceeded 20 m/s, causing strong snow re-distribution, release of sea salt aerosol and sea ice deformation. The heavy snow load caused widespread negative freeboard; during sea ice deformation events, level ice floes were flooded by sea water, and at least 6-10 cm snow-ice layer was formed. Elevated deformation rates during the most powerful winter storms damaged the ice cover permanently such that the response to wind forcing increased by 60 %. As a result of a remote storm in April deformation processes opened about 4 % of the total area into leads with open water, while a similar amount of ice was deformed into pressure ridges. The strong winds also enhanced ocean mixing and increased ocean heat fluxes three-fold in the pycnocline from 4 to 12 W/m2. Ocean heat fluxes were extremely large (over 300 W/m2) during storms in regions where the warm Atlantic inflow is located close to surface over shallow topography. This resulted in very large (5-25 cm/day) bottom ice melt and in cases flooding due to heavy snow load. Storm events increased the carbon dioxide exchange between the atmosphere and ocean but also affected the pCO2 in surface waters

  12. Role of the Tropical Pacific in recent Antarctic Sea-Ice Trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Codron, F.; Bardet, D.; Allouache, C.; Gastineau, G.; Friedman, A. R.; Douville, H.; Voldoire, A.

    2017-12-01

    The recent (up to 2016) trends in Antarctic sea-ice cover - a global increase masking a dipole between the Ross and Bellingshausen-Weddel seas - are still not well understood, and not reproduced by CMIP5 coupled climate models. We here explore the potential role of atmospheric circulation changes around the Amundsen Sea, themselves possibly forced by tropical SSTs, an explanation that has been recently advanced. As a first check on this hypothesis, we compare the atmospheric circulation trends simulated by atmospheric GCMs coupled with an ocean or with imposed SSTs (AMIP experiment from CMIP5); the latter being in theory able to reproduce changes caused by natural SST variability. While coupled models simulate in aggregate trends that project on the SAM structure, strongest in summer, the AMIP simulations add in the winter season a pronounced Amundsen Sea Low signature (and a PNA signature in the northern hemisphere) both consistent with a Niña-like trend in the tropical Pacific. We then use a specific coupled GCM setup, in which surface wind anomalies over the tropical Pacific are strongly nudged towards the observed ones, including their interannual variability, but the model is free to evolve elsewhere. The two GCMs used then simulate a deepening trend in the Amundsen-Sea Low in winter, and are able to reproduce a dipole in sea-ice cover. Further analysis shows that the sea-ice dipole is partially forced by surface heat flux anomalies in early winter - the extent varying with the region and GCM used. The turbulent heat fluxes then act to damp the anomalies in late winter, which may however be maintained by ice-albedo feedbacks.

  13. Unexpectedly high ultrafine aerosol concentrations above East Antarctic sea-ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, R. S.; Klekociuk, A. R.; Schofield, R.; Keywood, M.; Ward, J.; Wilson, S. R.

    2015-10-01

    The effect of aerosols on clouds and their radiative properties is one of the largest uncertainties in our understanding of radiative forcing. A recent study has concluded that better characterisation of pristine, natural aerosol processes leads to the largest reduction in these uncertainties. Antarctica, being far from anthropogenic activities, is an ideal location for the study of natural aerosol processes. Aerosol measurements in Antarctica are often limited to boundary layer air-masses at spatially sparse coastal and continental research stations, with only a handful of studies in the sea ice region. In this paper, the first observational study of sub-micron aerosols in the East Antarctic sea ice region is presented. Measurements were conducted aboard the ice-breaker Aurora Australis in spring 2012 and found that boundary layer condensation nuclei (CN3) concentrations exhibited a five-fold increase moving across the Polar Front, with mean Polar Cell concentrations of 1130 cm-3 - higher than any observed elsewhere in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region. The absence of evidence for aerosol growth suggested that nucleation was unlikely to be local. Air parcel trajectories indicated significant influence from the free troposphere above the Antarctic continent, implicating this as the likely nucleation region for surface aerosol, a similar conclusion to previous Antarctic aerosol studies. The highest aerosol concentrations were found to correlate with low pressure systems, suggesting that the passage of cyclones provided an accelerated pathway, delivering air-masses quickly from the free-troposphere to the surface. After descent from the Antarctic free troposphere, trajectories suggest that sea ice boundary layer air-masses travelled equator-ward into the low albedo Southern Ocean region, transporting with them emissions and these aerosol nuclei where, after growth, may potentially impact on the region's radiative balance. The high aerosol concentrations and

  14. Contribution of sea ice microbial production to Antarctic benthic communities is driven by sea ice dynamics and composition of functional guilds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wing, Stephen R; Leichter, James J; Wing, Lucy C; Stokes, Dale; Genovese, Sal J; McMullin, Rebecca M; Shatova, Olya A

    2018-04-28

    Organic matter produced by the sea ice microbial community (SIMCo) is an important link between sea ice dynamics and secondary production in near-shore food webs of Antarctica. Sea ice conditions in McMurdo Sound were quantified from time series of MODIS satellite images for Sept. 1 through Feb. 28 of 2007-2015. A predictable sea ice persistence gradient along the length of the Sound and evidence for a distinct change in sea ice dynamics in 2011 were observed. We used stable isotope analysis (δ 13 C and δ 15 N) of SIMCo, suspended particulate organic matter (SPOM) and shallow water (10-20 m) macroinvertebrates to reveal patterns in trophic structure of, and incorporation of organic matter from SIMCo into, benthic communities at eight sites distributed along the sea ice persistence gradient. Mass-balance analysis revealed distinct trophic architecture among communities and large fluxes of SIMCo into the near-shore food web, with the estimates ranging from 2 to 84% of organic matter derived from SIMCo for individual species. Analysis of patterns in density, and biomass of macroinvertebrate communities among sites allowed us to model net incorporation of organic matter from SIMCo, in terms of biomass per unit area (g/m 2 ), into benthic communities. Here, organic matter derived from SIMCo supported 39 to 71 per cent of total biomass. Furthermore, for six species, we observed declines in contribution of SIMCo between years with persistent sea ice (2008-2009) and years with extensive sea ice breakout (2012-2015). Our data demonstrate the vital role of SIMCo in ecosystem function in Antarctica and strong linkages between sea ice dynamics and near-shore secondary productivity. These results have important implications for our understanding of how benthic communities will respond to changes in sea ice dynamics associated with climate change and highlight the important role of shallow water macroinvertebrate communities as sentinels of change for the Antarctic marine

  15. Temporal variatiions of Sea ice cover in the Baltic Sea derived from operational sea ice products used in NWP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Martin; Paul, Gerhard; Potthast, Roland

    2014-05-01

    Sea ice cover is a crucial parameter for surface fluxes of heat and moisture over water areas. The isolating effect and the much higher albedo strongly reduces the turbulent exchange of heat and moisture from the surface to the atmosphere and allows for cold and dry air mass flow with strong impact on the stability of the whole boundary layer and consequently cloud formation as well as precipitation in the downstream regions. Numerical weather centers as, ECMWF, MetoFrance or DWD use external products to initialize SST and sea ice cover in their NWP models. To the knowledge of the author there are mainly two global sea ice products well established with operational availability, one from NOAA NCEP that combines measurements with satellite data, and the other from OSI-SAF derived from SSMI/S sensors. The latter one is used in the Ostia product. DWD additionally uses a regional product for the Baltic Sea provided by the national center for shipping and hydrografie which combines observations from ships (and icebreakers) for the German part of the Baltic Sea and model analysis from the hydrodynamic HIROMB model of the Swedish meteorological service for the rest of the domain. The temporal evolution of the three different products are compared for a cold period in Februar 2012. Goods and bads will be presented and suggestions for a harmonization of strong day to day jumps over large areas are suggested.

  16. Arctic Sea Ice Trafficability - New Strategies for a Changing Icescape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dammann, Dyre Oliver

    Sea ice is an important part of the Arctic social-environmental system, in part because it provides a platform for human transportation and for marine flora and fauna that use the ice as a habitat. Sea ice loss projected for coming decades is expected to change ice conditions throughout the Arctic, but little is known about the nature and extent of anticipated changes and in particular potential implications for over-ice travel and ice use as a platform. This question has been addressed here through an extensive effort to link sea ice use and key geophysical properties of sea ice, drawing upon extensive field surveys around on-ice operations and local and Indigenous knowledge for the widely different ice uses and ice regimes of Utqiagvik, Kotzebue, and Nome, Alaska.. A set of nine parameters that constrain landfast sea ice use has been derived, including spatial extent, stability, and timing and persistence of landfast ice. This work lays the foundation for a framework to assess and monitor key ice-parameters relevant in the context of ice-use feasibility, safety, and efficiency, drawing on different remote-sensing techniques. The framework outlines the steps necessary to further evaluate relevant parameters in the context of user objectives and key stakeholder needs for a given ice regime and ice use scenario. I have utilized this framework in case studies for three different ice regimes, where I find uses to be constrained by ice thickness, roughness, and fracture potential and develop assessment strategies with accuracy at the relevant spatial scales. In response to the widely reported importance of high-confidence ice thickness measurements, I have developed a new strategy to estimate appropriate thickness compensation factors. Compensation factors have the potential to reduce risk of misrepresenting areas of thin ice when using point-based in-situ assessment methods along a particular route. This approach was tested on an ice road near Kotzebue, Alaska, where

  17. Radiative Impacts of Further Arctic Sea Ice Melt: Using past Observations to Inform Future Climate Impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pistone, K.; Eisenman, I.; Ramanathan, V.

    2017-01-01

    The Arctic region has seen dramatic changes over the past several decades, from polar amplification of global temperature rise to ecosystem changes to the decline of the sea ice. While there has been much speculation as to when the world will see an ice-free Arctic, the radiative impacts of an eventual disappearance of the Arctic sea ice are likely to be significant regardless of the timing. Using CERES radiation and microwave satellite sea ice data, Pistone et al (2014) estimated the radiative forcing due to albedo changes associated with the Arctic sea ice retreat over the 30 years of the satellite data record. In this study, we found that the Arctic Ocean saw a decrease in all-sky albedo of 4% (from 52% to 48%), for an estimated increase in solar heating of 6.4 W/m(exp 2) between 1979 and 2011, or 0.21 W/m(exp 2) when averaged over the globe. This value is substantial--approximately 25% as large as the forcing due to the change in CO2 during the same period. Here we update and expand upon this previous work and use the CERES broadband shortwave observations to explore the radiative impacts of a transition to completely ice-free Arctic Ocean. We estimate the annually-averaged Arctic Ocean planetary albedo under ice-free and cloud-free conditions to be 14% over the region, or approximately 25% lower in absolute terms than the Arctic Ocean cloud-free albedo in 1979. However, the question of all-sky conditions (i.e. including the effects of clouds) introduces a new level of complexity. We explore several cloud scenarios and the resultant impact on albedo. In each of these cases, the estimated forcing is not uniformly distributed throughout the year. We describe the relative contributions of ice loss by month as well as the spatial distributions of the resulting changes in absorbed solar energy. The seasonal timing and location—in addition to magnitude—of the altered solar absorption may have significant implications for atmospheric and ocean dynamics in the

  18. Accelerated warming of the Southern Ocean and its impacts on the hydrological cycle and sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jiping; Curry, Judith A

    2010-08-24

    The observed sea surface temperature in the Southern Ocean shows a substantial warming trend for the second half of the 20th century. Associated with the warming, there has been an enhanced atmospheric hydrological cycle in the Southern Ocean that results in an increase of the Antarctic sea ice for the past three decades through the reduced upward ocean heat transport and increased snowfall. The simulated sea surface temperature variability from two global coupled climate models for the second half of the 20th century is dominated by natural internal variability associated with the Antarctic Oscillation, suggesting that the models' internal variability is too strong, leading to a response to anthropogenic forcing that is too weak. With increased loading of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere through the 21st century, the models show an accelerated warming in the Southern Ocean, and indicate that anthropogenic forcing exceeds natural internal variability. The increased heating from below (ocean) and above (atmosphere) and increased liquid precipitation associated with the enhanced hydrological cycle results in a projected decline of the Antarctic sea ice.

  19. The impact of melt ponds on summertime microwave brightness temperatures and sea-ice concentrations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kern, Stefan; Rösel, Anja; Pedersen, Leif Toudal

    2016-01-01

    % sea-ice concentration. None of the algorithms investigated performs best based on our investigation of data from summer 2009. We suggest that those algorithms which are more sensitive to melt ponds could be optimized more easily because the influence of unknown snow and sea-ice surface property...... of eight sea-ice concentration retrieval algorithms to melt ponds by comparing sea-ice concentration with the melt-pond fraction. We derive gridded daily sea-ice concentrations from microwave brightness temperatures of summer 2009. We derive the daily fraction of melt ponds, open water between ice floes......, and the ice-surface fraction from contemporary Moderate Resolution Spectroradiometer (MODIS) reflectance data. We only use grid cells where the MODIS sea ice concentration, which is the melt-pond fraction plus the ice-surface fraction, exceeds 90 %. For one group of algorithms, e.g., Bristol and Comiso...

  20. Characterization of the mechanical behavior of sea ice as a frictional material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lade, Poul V.

    2002-12-01

    The mechanical properties of sea ice are determined by the formation process, and the consequent material behavior at the element scale exhibits viscoelastic behavior at the early loading stages, followed by brittle fracture or ductile, irrecoverable deformation that may be captured by hardening/softening plasticity models with nonassociated flow. Failure of sea ice under different loading conditions follows a pattern that demonstrates its highly cross-anisotropic nature as well as its behavior as a frictional material. The interactions between the floes in the pack ice resemble those observed in granular materials. These materials are frictional in nature, they exhibit both contractive and dilative volume changes, the plastic flow is nonassociated, and their stiffnesses and strengths increase with confining pressure, but they do not have any strength when unconfined. The overall behavior of the pack ice may be close to isotropic. Constitutive modeling of this behavior may be achieved by models used in geotechnical engineering. Formation of leads and subsequent freezing of the water results in cementation between the ice floes, and the pack ice becomes stronger. The behavior of the pack ice may now be compared with that observed in cemented soils or concrete. For these materials, increasing amounts of cementation result in increasing rates of dilation when sheared, and this accounts for the largest contribution to the increase in shear strength.

  1. Controls on Arctic sea ice from first-year and multi-year survival rates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hunke, Jes [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2009-01-01

    The recent decrease in Arctic sea ice cover has transpired with a significant loss of multi year ice. The transition to an Arctic that is populated by thinner first year sea ice has important implications for future trends in area and volume. Here we develop a reduced model for Arctic sea ice with which we investigate how the survivability of first year and multi year ice control the mean state, variability, and trends in ice area and volume.

  2. FY 2015 Report: Developing Remote Sensing Capabilities for Meter-Scale Sea Ice Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    albedo retrieval from MERIS data–Part 2: Case studies and trends of sea ice albedo and melt ponds in the Arctic for years 2002–2011. The Cryosphere, 9...and spectral sea ice albedo retrieval from MERIS data-Part 1: Validation against in situ, aerial, and ship cruise data. The Cryosphere, 9, 1551-1566. ...1 FY 2015 Report: Developing Remote Sensing Capabilities for Meter-Scale Sea Ice Properties Chris Polashenski USACE-CRREL Building 4070

  3. DMSP SSM/I Daily and Monthly Polar Gridded Bootstrap Sea Ice Concentrations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — DMSP SSM/I Daily and Monthly Polar Gridded Bootstrap Sea Ice Concentrations in polar stereographic projection currently include Defense Meteorological Satellite...

  4. Measurement of sea ice thickness using electromagnetic sounding; Denji tansaho wo mochiita kaihyoatsu no keisoku

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kawauchi, K; Suzuki, I; Goto, N [Muroran Institute of Technology, Hokkaido (Japan); Hoshiyama, K

    1997-10-22

    Thickness of sea ice is measured by an electromagnetic method making use of the peculiarities of sea ice. Sea ice floats on the seawater (saline water), and the result is two horizontal layers greatly different from each other in conductivity, with seawater being highly conductive and ice being non-conductive. A study is conducted on Lake Kumatori, a saline lake in Abashiri City, in which effort a board of naturally frozen sea ice and a board of sea ice allowed to form on the sea surface at a spot from which ice has been removed are examined. A portable electromagnetic probe EM38 of GEONICS Company is employed to perform measurement in a horizontal dipole mode. To determine the relationship between the obtained conductivity measurements and sea ice thickness, holes are bored in the sea ice boards for the measurement of their thickness for the formulation of an experimental regression equation. Measurements along the traverse line 1 and traverse line 3 are converted into sea ice thickness by use of the experimental regression equation, and the result is that ice thickness is the greatest near the quay growing thinner away from the shore. The study shows that sea ice thickness may be measured accurately by electromagnetic probing. 3 refs., 10 figs.

  5. Observation and modeling of snow melt and superimposed ice formation on sea ice

    OpenAIRE

    Nicolaus, Marcel; Haas, Christian

    2004-01-01

    Sea ice plays a key role within the global climate system. It covers some 7% of earths surface and processes a strong seasonal cycle. Snow on sea ice even amplifies the importance of sea ice in the coupled atmosphere-ice-ocean system, because it dominates surface properties and energy balance (incl. albedo).Several quantitative observations of summer sea ice and its snow cover show the formation of superimposed ice and a gap layer underneath, which was found to be associated to high standing ...

  6. Abnormal Winter Melting of the Arctic Sea Ice Cap Observed by the Spaceborne Passive Microwave Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seongsuk Lee

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The spatial size and variation of Arctic sea ice play an important role in Earth’s climate system. These are affected by conditions in the polar atmosphere and Arctic sea temperatures. The Arctic sea ice concentration is calculated from brightness temperature data derived from the Defense Meteorological Satellite program (DMSP F13 Special Sensor Microwave/Imagers (SSMI and the DMSP F17 Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS sensors. Many previous studies point to significant reductions in sea ice and their causes. We investigated the variability of Arctic sea ice using the daily and monthly sea ice concentration data from passive microwave observations to identify the sea ice melting regions near the Arctic polar ice cap. We discovered the abnormal melting of the Arctic sea ice near the North Pole even during the summer and the winter. This phenomenon is hard to explain only surface air temperature or solar heating as suggested by recent studies. We propose a hypothesis explaining this phenomenon. The heat from the deep sea in Arctic Ocean ridges and/or the hydrothermal vents might be contributing to the melting of Arctic sea ice. This hypothesis could be verified by the observation of warm water column structure below the melting or thinning arctic sea ice through the project such as Coriolis dataset for reanalysis (CORA.

  7. Tracing Atlantic Water Signature in the Arctic Sea Ice Cover East of Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir V. Ivanov

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We focus on the Arctic Ocean between Svalbard and Franz Joseph Land in order to elucidate the possible role of Atlantic water (AW inflow in shaping ice conditions. Ice conditions substantially affect the temperature regime of the Spitsbergen archipelago, particularly in winter. We test the hypothesis that intensive vertical mixing at the upper AW boundary releases substantial heat upwards that eventually reaches the under-ice water layer, thinning the ice cover. We examine spatial and temporal variation of ice concentration against time series of wind, air temperature, and AW temperature. Analysis of 1979–2011 ice properties revealed a general tendency of decreasing ice concentration that commenced after the mid-1990s. AW temperature time series in Fram Strait feature a monotonic increase after the mid-1990s, consistent with shrinking ice cover. Ice thins due to increased sensible heat flux from AW; ice erosion from below allows wind and local currents to more effectively break ice. The winter spatial pattern of sea ice concentration is collocated with patterns of surface heat flux anomalies. Winter minimum sea ice thickness occurs in the ice pack interior above the AW path, clearly indicating AW influence on ice thickness. Our study indicates that in the AW inflow region heat flux from the ocean reduces the ice thickness.

  8. Remarkable link between projected uncertainties of Arctic sea-ice decline and winter Eurasian climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheung, Hoffman H. N.; Keenlyside, Noel; Omrani, Nour-Eddine; Zhou, Wen

    2018-01-01

    We identify that the projected uncertainty of the pan-Arctic sea-ice concentration (SIC) is strongly coupled with the Eurasian circulation in the boreal winter (December-March; DJFM), based on a singular value decomposition (SVD) analysis of the forced response of 11 CMIP5 models. In the models showing a stronger sea-ice decline, the Polar cell becomes weaker and there is an anomalous increase in the sea level pressure (SLP) along 60°N, including the Urals-Siberia region and the Iceland low region. There is an accompanying weakening of both the midlatitude westerly winds and the Ferrell cell, where the SVD signals are also related to anomalous sea surface temperature warming in the midlatitude North Atlantic. In the Mediterranean region, the anomalous circulation response shows a decreasing SLP and increasing precipitation. The anomalous SLP responses over the Euro-Atlantic region project on to the negative North Atlantic Oscillation-like pattern. Altogether, pan-Arctic SIC decline could strongly impact the winter Eurasian climate, but we should be cautious about the causality of their linkage.

  9. Validation of CryoSat-2 SARIn Performance over Arctic Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Bella, A.; Skourup, H.; Bouffard, J.; Parrinello, T.

    2016-08-01

    The main objective of this work is to validate CryoSat-2 (CS2) SARIn performance over sea ice by use of airborne laser altimetry data obtained during the CryoVEx 2012 campaign. A study by [1] has shown that the extra information from the CS2 SARIn mode increases the number of valid sea surface height estimates which are usually discarded in the SAR mode due to snagging of the radar signal. As the number of valid detected leads increases, the uncertainty of the freeboard heights decreases.In this study, the snow freeboard heights estimated using data from the airborne laser scanner are used to validate the sea ice freeboard obtained by processing CS2 SARIn level 1b waveforms. The possible reduction in the random freeboard uncertainty is investigated comparing two scenarios, i.e. a SAR-like and a SARIn acquisition.It is observed that using the extra phase information, CS2 is able to detect leads up to 2370 m off-nadir. A reduction in the the total random freeboard uncertainty of ˜40% is observed by taking advantage of the CS2 interferometric capabilities, which enable to include ˜35% of the wave-forms discarded in the SAR-like scenario.

  10. The interaction of ultraviolet light with Arctic sea ice during SHEBA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perovich, Donald K.

    The reflection, absorption and transmission of ultraviolet light by a sea-ice cover strongly impacts primary productivity, higher trophic components of the food web, and humans. Measurements of the incident irradiance at 305, 320, 340 and 380 nm and of the photosynthetically active radiation were made from April through September 1998 as part of the SHEBA (Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean program) field experiment in the Arctic Ocean. In addition, observations of snow depth and ice thickness were made at more than 100 sites encompassing a comprehensive range of conditions. The thickness observations were combined with a radiative transfer model to compute a time series of the ultraviolet light transmitted by the ice cover from April through September. Peak values of incident ultraviolet irradiance occurred in mid-June. Peak transmittance was later in the summer at the end of the melt season when the snow cover had completely melted, the ice had thinned and pond coverage was extensive. The fraction of the incident ultraviolet irradiance transmitted through the ice increased by several orders of magnitude as the melt season progressed. Ultraviolet transmittance was approximately a factor of ten greater for melt ponds than bare ice. Climate change has the potential to alter the amplitude and timing of the annual albedo cycle of sea ice. If the onset of melt occurs at increasingly earlier dates, ultraviolet transmittance will be significantly enhanced, with potentially deleterious biological impacts.

  11. Trends in Sea Ice Cover, Sea Surface Temperature, and Chlorophyll Biomass Across a Marine Distributed Biological Observatory in the Pacific Arctic Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, K. E.; Grebmeier, J. M.; Cooper, L. W.; Wood, C.; Panday, P. K.

    2011-12-01

    The northern Bering and Chukchi Seas in the Pacific Arctic Region (PAR) are among the most productive marine ecosystems in the world and act as important carbon sinks, particularly during May and June when seasonal sea ice-associated phytoplankton blooms occur throughout the region. Recent dramatic shifts in seasonal sea ice cover across the PAR should have profound consequences for this seasonal phytoplankton production as well as the intimately linked higher trophic levels. In order to investigate ecosystem responses to these observed recent shifts in sea ice cover, the development of a prototype Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) is now underway in the PAR. The DBO is being developed as an internationally-coordinated change detection array that allows for consistent sampling and monitoring at five spatially explicit biologically productive locations across a latitudinal gradient: (1) DBO-SLP (south of St. Lawrence Island (SLI)), (2) DBO-NBS (north of SLI), (3) DBO-SCS (southern Chukchi Sea), (4) DBO-CCS (central Chukchi Sea), and (5) DBO-BCA (Barrow Canyon Arc). Standardized measurements at many of the DBO sites were made by multiple research cruises during the 2010 and 2011 pilot years, and will be expanded with the development of the DBO in coming years. In order to provide longer-term context for the changes occurring across the PAR, we utilize multi-sensor satellite data to investigate recent trends in sea ice cover, chlorophyll biomass, and sea surface temperatures for each of the five DBO sites, as well as a sixth long-term observational site in the Bering Strait. Satellite observations show that over the past three decades, trends in sea ice cover in the PAR have been heterogeneous, with significant declines in the Chukchi Sea, slight declines in the Bering Strait region, but increases in the northern Bering Sea south of SLI. Declines in the persistence of seasonal sea ice cover in the Chukchi Sea and Bering Strait region are due to both earlier sea

  12. The impact of atmospheric mineral aerosol deposition on the albedo of snow & sea ice: are snow and sea ice optical properties more important than mineral aerosol optical properties?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. L. Lamare

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of the albedo of polar regions is crucial for understanding a range of climatic processes that have an impact on a global scale. Light-absorbing impurities in atmospheric aerosols deposited on snow and sea ice by aeolian transport absorb solar radiation, reducing albedo. Here, the effects of five mineral aerosol deposits reducing the albedo of polar snow and sea ice are considered. Calculations employing a coupled atmospheric and snow/sea ice radiative-transfer model (TUV-snow show that the effects of mineral aerosol deposits are strongly dependent on the snow or sea ice type rather than the differences between the aerosol optical characteristics. The change in albedo between five different mineral aerosol deposits with refractive indices varying by a factor of 2 reaches a maximum of 0.0788, whereas the difference between cold polar snow and melting sea ice is 0.8893 for the same mineral loading. Surprisingly, the thickness of a surface layer of snow or sea ice loaded with the same mass ratio of mineral dust has little effect on albedo. On the contrary, the surface albedo of two snowpacks of equal depth, containing the same mineral aerosol mass ratio, is similar, whether the loading is uniformly distributed or concentrated in multiple layers, regardless of their position or spacing. The impact of mineral aerosol deposits is much larger on melting sea ice than on other types of snow and sea ice. Therefore, the higher input of shortwave radiation during the summer melt cycle associated with melting sea ice accelerates the melt process.

  13. Ross sea ice motion, area flux, and deformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    kwok, Ron

    2005-01-01

    The sea ice motion, area export, and deformation of the Ross Sea ice cover are examined with satellite passive microwave and RADARSAT observations. The record of high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data, from 1998 and 2000, allows the estimation of the variability of ice deformation at the small scale (10 km) and to assess the quality of the longer record of passive microwave ice motion. Daily and subdaily deformation fields and RADARSAT imagery highlight the variability of motion and deformation in the Ross Sea. With the passive microwave ice motion, the area export at a flux gate positioned between Cape Adare and Land Bay is estimated. Between 1992 and 2003, a positive trend can be seen in the winter (March-November) ice area flux that has a mean of 990 x 103 km2 and ranges from a low of 600 x 103 km2 in 1992 to a peak of 1600 x 103 km2 in 2001. In the mean, the southern Ross Sea produces almost twice its own area of sea ice during the winter. Cross-gate sea level pressure (SLP) gradients explain 60% of the variance in the ice area flux. A positive trend in this gradient, from reanalysis products, suggests a 'spinup' of the Ross Sea Gyre over the past 12 yr. In both the NCEP-NCAR and ERA-40 surface pressure fields, longer-term trends in this gradient and mean SLP between 1979 and 2002 are explored along with positive anomalies in the monthly cross-gate SLP gradient associated with the positive phase of the Southern Hemisphere annular mode and the extrapolar Southern Oscillation.

  14. ALES+: Adapting a homogenous ocean retracker for satellite altimetry to sea ice leads, coastal and inland waters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Passaro, Marcello; Kildegaard Rose, Stine; Andersen, Ole B.

    2018-01-01

    ice retracker used for fitting specular echoes. Compared to an existing open ocean altimetry dataset, the presented strategy increases the number of sea level retrievals in the sea ice-covered area and the correlation with a local tide gauge. Further tests against in-situ data show that also......Water level from sea ice-covered oceans is particularly challenging to retrieve with satellite radar altimeters due to the different shapes assumed by the returned signal compared with the standard open ocean waveforms. Valid measurements are scarce in large areas of the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans...... the fitting of the signal depending on the sea state and on the slope of its trailing edge. The algorithm modifies the existing Adaptive Leading Edge Subwaveform retracker originally designed for coastal waters, and is applied to Envisat and ERS-2 missions. The validation in a test area of the Arctic Ocean...

  15. Arctic sea-ice melting: Effects on hydroclimatic variability and on UV-induced carbon cycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulzberger, Barbara

    2016-04-01

    Since 1980 both the perennial and the multiyear central Arctic sea ice areas have declined by approximately 13 and 15% per decade, respectively (IPCC, 2013). Arctic sea-ice melting has led to an increase in the amplitude of the Northern Hemisphere jet stream and, as a consequence, in more slowly moving Rossby waves which results in blocking of weather patterns such as heat waves, droughts, cold spells, and heavy precipitation events (Francis and Vavrus, 2012). Changing Rossby waves account for more than 30% of the precipitation variability over several regions of the northern middle and high latitudes, including the US northern Great Plains and parts of Canada, Europe, and Russia (Schubert et al., 2011). From 2007 to 2013, northern Europe experienced heavy summer precipitation events that were unprecedented in over a century, concomitant with Arctic sea ice loss (Screen, 2013). Heavy precipitation events tend to increase the runoff intensity of terrigenous dissolved organic matter (tDOM) (Haaland et al., 2010). In surface waters tDOM is subject to UV-induced oxidation to produce atmospheric CO2. Mineralization of DOM also occurs via microbial respiration. However, not all chemical forms of DOM are available to bacterioplankton. UV-induced transformations generally increase the bioavailability of tDOM (Sulzberger and Durisch-Kaiser, 2009). Mineralization of tDOM is an important source of atmospheric CO2 and this process is likely to contribute to positive feedbacks on global warming (Erickson et al., 2015). However, the magnitudes of these potential feedbacks remain unexplored. This paper will discuss the following items: 1.) Links between Arctic sea-ice melting, heavy precipitation events, and enhanced tDOM runoff. 2.) UV-induced increase in the bioavailability of tDOM. 3.) UV-mediated feedbacks on global warming. References Erickson, D. J. III, B. Sulzberger, R. G. Zepp, A. T. Austin (2015), Effects of stratospheric ozone depletion, solar UV radiation, and climate

  16. Improving Arctic Sea Ice Edge Forecasts by Assimilating High Horizontal Resolution Sea Ice Concentration Data into the US Navy’s Ice Forecast Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-13

    1735-2015 © Author(s) 2015. CC Attribution 3.0 License. Improving Arctic sea ice edge forecasts by assimilating high horizontal resolution sea ice...concentration data into the US Navy’s ice forecast systems P. G. Posey1, E. J. Metzger1, A. J. Wallcraft1, D. A. Hebert1, R. A. Allard1, O. M. Smedstad2...error within the US Navy’s operational sea ice forecast systems gained by assimilating high horizontal resolution satellite-derived ice concentration

  17. A Validation Dataset for CryoSat Sea Ice Investigators

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Julia, Gaudelli,; Baker, Steve; Haas, Christian

    Since its launch in April 2010 Cryosat has been collecting valuable sea ice data over the Arctic region. Over the same period ESA’s CryoVEx and NASA IceBridge validation campaigns have been collecting a unique set of coincident airborne measurements in the Arctic. The CryoVal-SI project has...... community. In this talk we will describe the composition of the validation dataset, summarising how it was processed and how to understand the content and format of the data. We will also explain how to access the data and the supporting documentation....

  18. Ice bridges and ridges in the Maxwell-EB sea ice rheology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Dansereau

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a first implementation of a new rheological model for sea ice on geophysical scales. This continuum model, called Maxwell elasto-brittle (Maxwell-EB, is based on a Maxwell constitutive law, a progressive damage mechanism that is coupled to both the elastic modulus and apparent viscosity of the ice cover and a Mohr–Coulomb damage criterion that allows for pure (uniaxial and biaxial tensile strength. The model is tested on the basis of its capability to reproduce the complex mechanical and dynamical behaviour of sea ice drifting through a narrow passage. Idealized as well as realistic simulations of the flow of ice through Nares Strait are presented. These demonstrate that the model reproduces the formation of stable ice bridges as well as the stoppage of the flow, a phenomenon occurring within numerous channels of the Arctic. In agreement with observations, the model captures the propagation of damage along narrow arch-like kinematic features, the discontinuities in the velocity field across these features dividing the ice cover into floes, the strong spatial localization of the thickest, ridged ice, the presence of landfast ice in bays and fjords and the opening of polynyas downstream of the strait. The model represents various dynamical behaviours linked to an overall weakening of the ice cover and to the shorter lifespan of ice bridges, with implications in terms of increased ice export through narrow outflow pathways of the Arctic.

  19. Ice bridges and ridges in the Maxwell-EB sea ice rheology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dansereau, Véronique; Weiss, Jérôme; Saramito, Pierre; Lattes, Philippe; Coche, Edmond

    2017-09-01

    This paper presents a first implementation of a new rheological model for sea ice on geophysical scales. This continuum model, called Maxwell elasto-brittle (Maxwell-EB), is based on a Maxwell constitutive law, a progressive damage mechanism that is coupled to both the elastic modulus and apparent viscosity of the ice cover and a Mohr-Coulomb damage criterion that allows for pure (uniaxial and biaxial) tensile strength. The model is tested on the basis of its capability to reproduce the complex mechanical and dynamical behaviour of sea ice drifting through a narrow passage. Idealized as well as realistic simulations of the flow of ice through Nares Strait are presented. These demonstrate that the model reproduces the formation of stable ice bridges as well as the stoppage of the flow, a phenomenon occurring within numerous channels of the Arctic. In agreement with observations, the model captures the propagation of damage along narrow arch-like kinematic features, the discontinuities in the velocity field across these features dividing the ice cover into floes, the strong spatial localization of the thickest, ridged ice, the presence of landfast ice in bays and fjords and the opening of polynyas downstream of the strait. The model represents various dynamical behaviours linked to an overall weakening of the ice cover and to the shorter lifespan of ice bridges, with implications in terms of increased ice export through narrow outflow pathways of the Arctic.

  20. Warming of the West Spitsbergen Current and sea ice north of Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Piechura

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available This research was supported by a grant from the Fifth European Union Frame-work Programme project ASOF-N, contract EVK2-CT-200200139, the Sixth Frame-work Programme DAMOCLES, contract 018509GOCE, and grants from the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, decisions 61/N-IPY/2007/0 and 175/IPY/2007/01.AbstractAccording to the results of recent research, besides the atmospheric circulation, it is heat transport to the Arctic Ocean (AO by ocean currents, the West Spitsbergen Current (WSC in particular, that is playing a significant role in the process of Arctic warming. Data collected by the Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences (IO PAS, in the Norwegian and Greenland Seas, and Fram Strait during the last 20 years reveal considerable changes in the amount of heat transported by the WSC into the Arctic Ocean. An increase in Atlantic Water (AW temperature and the intensification of heat transport were observed in 2004-06; after this period, both parameters decreased. The aim of this study was to find out whether the fluctuations in heat input by the WSC have influenced the sea-ice distribution around Svalbard. In fact they do, but oceanic heat transport should nonetheless be regarded as just one of many processes influencing sea-ice behaviour.

  1. The response of the Goddard general circulation model to sea ice boundary conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, G.; Johnson, W. T.

    1979-01-01

    The effect of variation in the location of Arctic sea ice boundaries on the model's mean monthly climatology was examined. When sea ice boundaries were at their maximum extent the differences resulted in the January-February climatology. Sea level pressure was higher over the Barents Sea, in the Davis Strait, and in the Sea of Okhotsk. Pressure was lower by as much as 8 mb in the North Atlantic between Iceland and the British Isles, and in the Gulf of Alaska. Pressure rises in the eastern subtropical regions of the North Atlantic and North Pacific accompanied pressure falls in the Gulf of Alaska and Icelandic region. Geopotential heights at 500 mb were more than 100 gpm lower in the Bering Sea, and more than 120 gpm lower in the Icelandic region. Zonally averaged temperatures were cooler by 4 deg C below 3800 mb between 50 deg and 70 deg N with little change elsewhere. Zonally averaged geopotentials were lower by as much as 70 gpm in the mid-troposphere between 50/-70 deg N and zonal winds increased by as much as 3 m s in the mid-troposphere between 35/-50 deg N.

  2. A comparison of viscous-plastic sea ice solvers with and without replacement pressure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimmritz, Madlen; Losch, Martin; Danilov, Sergey

    2017-07-01

    Recent developments of the explicit elastic-viscous-plastic (EVP) solvers call for a new comparison with implicit solvers for the equations of viscous-plastic sea ice dynamics. In Arctic sea ice simulations, the modified and the adaptive EVP solvers, and the implicit Jacobian-free Newton-Krylov (JFNK) solver are compared against each other. The adaptive EVP method shows convergence rates that are generally similar or even better than those of the modified EVP method, but the convergence of the EVP methods is found to depend dramatically on the use of the replacement pressure (RP). Apparently, using the RP can affect the pseudo-elastic waves in the EVP methods by introducing extra non-physical oscillations so that, in the extreme case, convergence to the VP solution can be lost altogether. The JFNK solver also suffers from higher failure rates with RP implying that with RP the momentum equations are stiffer and more difficult to solve. For practical purposes, both EVP methods can be used efficiently with an unexpectedly low number of sub-cycling steps without compromising the solutions. The differences between the RP solutions and the NoRP solutions (when the RP is not being used) can be reduced with lower thresholds of viscous regularization at the cost of increasing stiffness of the equations, and hence the computational costs of solving them.

  3. Mechanisms causing reduced Arctic sea ice loss in a coupled climate model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. E. West

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The fully coupled climate model HadGEM1 produces one of the most accurate simulations of the historical record of Arctic sea ice seen in the IPCC AR4 multi-model ensemble. In this study, we examine projections of sea ice decline out to 2030, produced by two ensembles of HadGEM1 with natural and anthropogenic forcings included. These ensembles project a significant slowing of the rate of ice loss to occur after 2010, with some integrations even simulating a small increase in ice area. We use an energy budget of the Arctic to examine the causes of this slowdown. A negative feedback effect by which rapid reductions in ice thickness north of Greenland reduce ice export is found to play a major role. A slight reduction in ocean-to-ice heat flux in the relevant period, caused by changes in the meridional overturning circulation (MOC and subpolar gyre in some integrations, as well as freshening of the mixed layer driven by causes other than ice melt, is also found to play a part. Finally, we assess the likelihood of a slowdown occurring in the real world due to these causes.

  4. Frost flowers on young Arctic sea ice: The climatic, chemical, and microbial significance of an emerging ice type

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, D. G.; Ehn, J. K.; Pućko, M.; Rysgaard, S.; Deming, J. W.; Bowman, J. S.; Papakyriakou, T.; Galley, R. J.; Søgaard, D. H.

    2014-10-01

    Ongoing changes in Arctic sea ice are increasing the spatial and temporal range of young sea ice types over which frost flowers can occur, yet the significance of frost flowers to ocean-sea ice-atmosphere exchange processes remains poorly understood. Frost flowers form when moisture from seawater becomes available to a cold atmosphere and surface winds are low, allowing for supersaturation of the near-surface boundary layer. Ice grown in a pond cut in young ice at the mouth of Young Sound, NE Greenland, in March 2012, showed that expanding frost flower clusters began forming as soon as the ice formed. The new ice and frost flowers dramatically changed the radiative and thermal environment. The frost flowers were about 5°C colder than the brine surface, with an approximately linear temperature gradient from their base to their upper tips. Salinity and δ18O values indicated that frost flowers primarily originated from the surface brine skim. Ikaite crystals were observed to form within an hour in both frost flowers and the thin pond ice. Average ikaite concentrations were 1013 µmol kg-1 in frost flowers and 1061 µmol kg-1 in the surface slush layer. Chamber flux measurements confirmed an efflux of CO2 at the brine-wetted sea ice surface, in line with expectations from the brine chemistry. Bacteria concentrations generally increased with salinity in frost flowers and the surface slush layer. Bacterial densities and taxa indicated that a selective process occurred at the ice surface and confirmed the general pattern of primary oceanic origin versus negligible atmospheric deposition.

  5. Evidence for middle Eocene Arctic sea ice from diatoms and ice-rafted debris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stickley, Catherine E; St John, Kristen; Koç, Nalân; Jordan, Richard W; Passchier, Sandra; Pearce, Richard B; Kearns, Lance E

    2009-07-16

    Oceanic sediments from long cores drilled on the Lomonosov ridge, in the central Arctic, contain ice-rafted debris (IRD) back to the middle Eocene epoch, prompting recent suggestions that ice appeared in the Arctic about 46 million years (Myr) ago. However, because IRD can be transported by icebergs (derived from land-based ice) and also by sea ice, IRD records are restricted to providing a history of general ice-rafting only. It is critical to differentiate sea ice from glacial (land-based) ice as climate feedback mechanisms vary and global impacts differ between these systems: sea ice directly affects ocean-atmosphere exchanges, whereas land-based ice affects sea level and consequently ocean acidity. An earlier report assumed that sea ice was prevalent in the middle Eocene Arctic on the basis of IRD, and although somewhat preliminary supportive evidence exists, these data are neither comprehensive nor quantified. Here we show the presence of middle Eocene Arctic sea ice from an extraordinary abundance of a group of sea-ice-dependent fossil diatoms (Synedropsis spp.). Analysis of quartz grain textural characteristics further supports sea ice as the dominant transporter of IRD at this time. Together with new information on cosmopolitan diatoms and existing IRD records, our data strongly suggest a two-phase establishment of sea ice: initial episodic formation in marginal shelf areas approximately 47.5 Myr ago, followed approximately 0.5 Myr later by the onset of seasonally paced sea-ice formation in offshore areas of the central Arctic. Our data establish a 2-Myr record of sea ice, documenting the transition from a warm, ice-free environment to one dominated by winter sea ice at the start of the middle Eocene climatic cooling phase.

  6. Measurement of spectral sea ice albedo at Qaanaaq fjord in northwest Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanikawa, T.

    2017-12-01

    The spectral albedos of sea ice were measured at Qaanaaq fjord in northwest Greenland. Spectral measurements were conducted for sea ice covered with snow and sea ice without snow where snow was artificially removed around measurement point. Thickness of the sea ice was approximately 1.3 m with 5 cm of snow over the sea ice. The measurements show that the spectral albedos of the sea ice with snow were lower than those of natural pure snow especially in the visible regions though the spectral shapes were similar to each other. This is because the spectral albedos in the visible region have information of not only the snow but also the sea ice under the snow. The spectral albedos of the sea ice without the snow were approximately 0.4 - 0.5 in the visible region, 0.05-0.25 in the near-infrared region and almost constant of approximately 0.05 in the region of 1500 - 2500 nm. In the visible region, it would be due to multiple scattering by an air bubble within the sea ice. In contrast, in the near-infrared and shortwave infrared wavelengths, surface reflection at the sea ice surface would be dominant. Since a light absorption by the ice in these regions is relatively strong comparing to the visible region, the light could not be penetrated deeply within the sea ice, resulting that surface reflection based on Fresnel reflection would be dominant. In this presentation we also show the results of comparison between the radiative transfer calculation and spectral measurement data.

  7. Mapping radiation transfer through sea ice using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Nicolaus

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Transmission of sunlight into and through sea ice is of critical importance for sea-ice associated organisms and photosynthesis because light is their primary energy source. The amount of visible light transferred through sea ice contributes to the energy budget of the sea ice and the uppermost ocean. However, our current knowledge on the amount and distribution of light under sea ice is still restricted to a few local observations, and our understanding of light-driven processes and interdisciplinary interactions is still sparse. The main reasons are that the under-ice environment is difficult to access and that measurements require large logistical and instrumental efforts. Hence, it has not been possible to map light conditions under sea ice over larger areas and to quantify spatial variability on different scales. Here we present a detailed methodological description for operating spectral radiometers on a remotely operated vehicle (ROV under sea ice. Recent advances in ROV and radiation-sensor technology have allowed us to map under-ice spectral radiance and irradiance on floe scales within a few hours of station time. The ROV was operated directly from the sea ice, allowing for direct relations of optical properties to other sea-ice and surface features. The ROV was flown close to the sea ice in order to capture small-scale variability. Results from the presented data set and similar future studies will allow for better quantification of light conditions under sea ice. The presented experiences will support further developments in order to gather large data sets of under-ice radiation for different ice conditions and during different seasons.

  8. Decadal shifts in autumn migration timing by Pacific Arctic beluga whales are related to delayed annual sea ice formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauser, Donna D W; Laidre, Kristin L; Stafford, Kathleen M; Stern, Harry L; Suydam, Robert S; Richard, Pierre R

    2017-06-01

    Migrations are often influenced by seasonal environmental gradients that are increasingly being altered by climate change. The consequences of rapid changes in Arctic sea ice have the potential to affect migrations of a number of marine species whose timing is temporally matched to seasonal sea ice cover. This topic has not been investigated for Pacific Arctic beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) that follow matrilineally maintained autumn migrations in the waters around Alaska and Russia. For the sympatric Eastern Chukchi Sea ('Chukchi') and Eastern Beaufort Sea ('Beaufort') beluga populations, we examined changes in autumn migration timing as related to delayed regional sea ice freeze-up since the 1990s, using two independent data sources (satellite telemetry data and passive acoustics) for both populations. We compared dates of migration between 'early' (1993-2002) and 'late' (2004-2012) tagging periods. During the late tagging period, Chukchi belugas had significantly delayed migrations (by 2 to >4 weeks, depending on location) from the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Spatial analyses also revealed that departure from Beaufort Sea foraging regions by Chukchi whales was postponed in the late period. Chukchi beluga autumn migration timing occurred significantly later as regional sea ice freeze-up timing became later in the Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering seas. In contrast, Beaufort belugas did not shift migration timing between periods, nor was migration timing related to freeze-up timing, other than for southward migration at the Bering Strait. Passive acoustic data from 2008 to 2014 provided independent and supplementary support for delayed migration from the Beaufort Sea (4 day yr -1 ) by Chukchi belugas. Here, we report the first phenological study examining beluga whale migrations within the context of their rapidly transforming Pacific Arctic ecosystem, suggesting flexible responses that may enable their persistence yet also complicate predictions of how

  9. Implications of sea-ice biogeochemistry for oceanic production and emissions of dimethyl sulfide in the Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Hayashida

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Sea ice represents an additional oceanic source of the climatically active gas dimethyl sulfide (DMS for the Arctic atmosphere. To what extent this source contributes to the dynamics of summertime Arctic clouds is, however, not known due to scarcity of field measurements. In this study, we developed a coupled sea ice–ocean ecosystem–sulfur cycle model to investigate the potential impact of bottom-ice DMS and its precursor dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP on the oceanic production and emissions of DMS in the Arctic. The results of the 1-D model simulation were compared with field data collected during May and June of 2010 in Resolute Passage. Our results reproduced the accumulation of DMS and DMSP in the bottom ice during the development of an ice algal bloom. The release of these sulfur species took place predominantly during the earlier phase of the melt period, resulting in an increase of DMS and DMSP in the underlying water column prior to the onset of an under-ice phytoplankton bloom. Production and removal rates of processes considered in the model are analyzed to identify the processes dominating the budgets of DMS and DMSP both in the bottom ice and the underlying water column. When openings in the ice were taken into account, the simulated sea–air DMS flux during the melt period was dominated by episodic spikes of up to 8.1 µmol m−2 d−1. Further model simulations were conducted to assess the effects of the incorporation of sea-ice biogeochemistry on DMS production and emissions, as well as the sensitivity of our results to changes of uncertain model parameters of the sea-ice sulfur cycle. The results highlight the importance of taking into account both the sea-ice sulfur cycle and ecosystem in the flux estimates of oceanic DMS near the ice margins and identify key uncertainties in processes and rates that should be better constrained by new observations.

  10. Frost flowers and sea-salt aerosols over seasonal sea-ice areas in northwestern Greenland during winter–spring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Hara

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Sea salts and halogens in aerosols, frost flowers, and brine play an important role in atmospheric chemistry in polar regions. Simultaneous sampling and observations of frost flowers, brine, and aerosol particles were conducted around Siorapaluk in northwestern Greenland during December 2013 to March 2014. Results show that water-soluble frost flower and brine components are sea-salt components (e.g., Na+, Cl−, Mg2+, K+, Ca2+, Br−, and iodine. Concentration factors of sea-salt components of frost flowers and brine relative to seawater were 1.14–3.67. Sea-salt enrichment of Mg2+, K+, Ca2+, and halogens (Cl−, Br−, and iodine in frost flowers is associated with sea-salt fractionation by precipitation of mirabilite and hydrohalite. High aerosol number concentrations correspond to the occurrence of higher abundance of sea-salt particles in both coarse and fine modes, and blowing snow and strong winds. Aerosol number concentrations, particularly in coarse mode, are increased considerably by release from the sea-ice surface under strong wind conditions. Sulfate depletion by sea-salt fractionation was found to be limited in sea-salt aerosols because of the presence of non-sea-salt (NSS SO42−. However, coarse and fine sea-salt particles were found to be rich in Mg. Strong Mg enrichment might be more likely to proceed in fine sea-salt particles. Magnesium-rich sea-salt particles might be released from the surface of snow and slush layer (brine on sea ice and frost flowers. Mirabilite-like and ikaite-like particles were identified only in aerosol samples collected near new sea-ice areas. From the field evidence and results from earlier studies, we propose and describe sea-salt cycles in seasonal sea-ice areas.

  11. Frost flowers and sea-salt aerosols over seasonal sea-ice areas in northwestern Greenland during winter-spring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hara, Keiichiro; Matoba, Sumito; Hirabayashi, Motohiro; Yamasaki, Tetsuhide

    2017-07-01

    Sea salts and halogens in aerosols, frost flowers, and brine play an important role in atmospheric chemistry in polar regions. Simultaneous sampling and observations of frost flowers, brine, and aerosol particles were conducted around Siorapaluk in northwestern Greenland during December 2013 to March 2014. Results show that water-soluble frost flower and brine components are sea-salt components (e.g., Na+, Cl-, Mg2+, K+, Ca2+, Br-, and iodine). Concentration factors of sea-salt components of frost flowers and brine relative to seawater were 1.14-3.67. Sea-salt enrichment of Mg2+, K+, Ca2+, and halogens (Cl-, Br-, and iodine) in frost flowers is associated with sea-salt fractionation by precipitation of mirabilite and hydrohalite. High aerosol number concentrations correspond to the occurrence of higher abundance of sea-salt particles in both coarse and fine modes, and blowing snow and strong winds. Aerosol number concentrations, particularly in coarse mode, are increased considerably by release from the sea-ice surface under strong wind conditions. Sulfate depletion by sea-salt fractionation was found to be limited in sea-salt aerosols because of the presence of non-sea-salt (NSS) SO42-. However, coarse and fine sea-salt particles were found to be rich in Mg. Strong Mg enrichment might be more likely to proceed in fine sea-salt particles. Magnesium-rich sea-salt particles might be released from the surface of snow and slush layer (brine) on sea ice and frost flowers. Mirabilite-like and ikaite-like particles were identified only in aerosol samples collected near new sea-ice areas. From the field evidence and results from earlier studies, we propose and describe sea-salt cycles in seasonal sea-ice areas.

  12. Propaganda, News, or Education: Reporting Changing Arctic Sea Ice Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leitzell, K.; Meier, W.

    2010-12-01

    The National Snow and Ice Data Center provides information on Arctic sea ice conditions via the Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis (ASINA) website. As a result of this effort to explain climatic data to the general public, we have attracted a huge amount of attention from our readers. Sometimes, people write to thank us for the information and the explanation. But people also write to accuse us of bias, slant, or outright lies in our posts. The topic of climate change is a minefield full of political animosity, and even the most carefully written verbiage can appear incomplete or biased to some audiences. Our strategy has been to report the data and stick to the areas in which our scientists are experts. The ASINA team carefully edits our posts to make sure that all statements are based on the science and not on opinion. Often this means using some technical language that may be difficult for a layperson to understand. However, we provide concise definitions for technical terms where appropriate. The hope is that by communicating the data clearly, without an agenda, we can let the science speak for itself. Is this an effective strategy to communicate clearly about the changing climate? Or does it downplay the seriousness of climate change? By writing at a more advanced level and avoiding oversimplification, we require our readers to work harder. But we may also maintain the attention of skeptics, convincing them to read further and become more knowledgeable about the topic.

  13. A Maxwell elasto-brittle rheology for sea ice modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dansereau, Véronique; Weiss, Jérôme; Saramito, Pierre; Lattes, Philippe

    2016-07-01

    A new rheological model is developed that builds on an elasto-brittle (EB) framework used for sea ice and rock mechanics, with the intent of representing both the small elastic deformations associated with fracturing processes and the larger deformations occurring along the faults/leads once the material is highly damaged and fragmented. A viscous-like relaxation term is added to the linear-elastic constitutive law together with an effective viscosity that evolves according to the local level of damage of the material, like its elastic modulus. The coupling between the level of damage and both mechanical parameters is such that within an undamaged ice cover the viscosity is infinitely large and deformations are strictly elastic, while along highly damaged zones the elastic modulus vanishes and most of the stress is dissipated through permanent deformations. A healing mechanism is also introduced, counterbalancing the effects of damaging over large timescales. In this new model, named Maxwell-EB after the Maxwell rheology, the irreversible and reversible deformations are solved for simultaneously; hence drift velocities are defined naturally. First idealized simulations without advection show that the model reproduces the main characteristics of sea ice mechanics and deformation: strain localization, anisotropy, intermittency and associated scaling laws.

  14. Sea-Ice Thickness Monitoring from Sensor Equipped Inuit Sleds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodwell, Shane; Jones, Bryn; Wilkinson, Jeremy

    2013-04-01

    A novel instrumentation package capable of measuring sea-ice thickness autonomously has been designed for long-term deployment upon the dog drawn sleds of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic. The device features a range of sensors that have been integrated with an electromagnetic induction device. These include a global positioning system, temperature sensor, tilt meter and accelerometer. Taken together, this system is able to provide accurate (+/-5cm) measurements of ice thickness with spatio-temporal resolution ranging from 1m to 5m every second. Autonomous data transmission capability is provided via GSM, inspired by the fact that many of the coastal communities in Greenland possess modern cell-phone infrastructure, enabling an inexpensive means of data-retrieval. Such data is essential in quantifying the sea-ice mass balance; given that existing satellite based systems are unable to measure ice-thickness directly. Field-campaign results from a prototype device, deployed in the North West of Greenland during three consecutive seasons, have demonstrated successful proof-of-concept when compared to data provided by ice mass balance (IMB) stations provided at fixed positions along the route of the sled. This project highlights not only the use of novel polar technology, but how opportunistic deployment using an existing roving platform (Inuit sledges) can provide economical, yet highly valuable, data for instrumentation development.

  15. Classification of sea-ice types in SAR imagery

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baraldi, A.; Parmiggiani, F.

    2001-01-01

    It is presented a supervised three-stage classification (labeling) scheme applied to SAR images of polar regions for detecting different sea-ice types. The three-stage labeling procedure consists of: 1) a speckle noise filtering stage, based on a sequence of contour detection, segmentation and filtering steps, which removes SAR speckle noise (and texture information as well) without losing spatial details; 2) a second stage providing Bayesian, maximum-α-posteriori, hierarchical (coarse-to-fine), adaptive (data-driven) and contextual labeling of piecewise constant intensity images featuring little useful texture information; and 3) an output stage providing a many-to-one relationship between second stage output categories (types or clusters) and desired output classes. Modules 1) and 2), which demonstrated their validity in several applications in the existing literature, are briefly recalled in the current paper. The proposed labeling scheme features some interesting functional properties when applied to sea-ice SAR images: it is easy to use, i.e., it requires minor user interaction, is robust to changes in input conditions and performs better than a non-contextual (per-pixel) classifier. Application results are presented and discussed for a pair of SAR images extracted, respectively, from an ERS-1 scene acquired on November 1992 over the Bellingshausen Sea (Antarctica) and from an ERS-2 scene of the East Greenland Sea acquired on March 1997 when a field experiment by the research vessel Jan Ma yen was conducted in the same area

  16. Recent ice cap snowmelt in Russian High Arctic and anti-correlation with late summer sea ice extent

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, Meng; Ramage, Joan; Semmens, Kathryn; Obleitner, Friedrich

    2014-01-01

    Glacier surface melt dynamics throughout Novaya Zemlya (NovZ) and Severnaya Zemlya (SevZ) serve as a good indicator of ice mass ablation and regional climate change in the Russian High Arctic. Here we report trends of surface melt onset date (MOD) and total melt days (TMD) by combining multiple resolution-enhanced active and passive microwave satellite datasets and analyze the TMD correlations with local temperature and regional sea ice extent. The glacier surface snowpack on SevZ melted significantly earlier (−7.3 days/decade) from 1992 to 2012 and significantly longer (7.7 days/decade) from 1995 to 2011. NovZ experienced large interannual variability in MOD, but its annual mean TMD increased. The snowpack melt on NovZ is more sensitive to temperature fluctuations than SevZ in recent decades. After ruling out the regional temperature influence using partial correlation analysis, the TMD on both archipelagoes is statistically anti-correlated with regional late summer sea ice extent, linking land ice snowmelt dynamics to regional sea ice extent variations. (letter)

  17. The NRL 2011 Airborne Sea-Ice Thickness Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brozena, J. M.; Gardner, J. M.; Liang, R.; Ball, D.; Richter-Menge, J.

    2011-12-01

    In March of 2011, the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) performed a study focused on the estimation of sea-ice thickness from airborne radar, laser and photogrammetric sensors. The study was funded by ONR to take advantage of the Navy's ICEX2011 ice-camp /submarine exercise, and to serve as a lead-in year for NRL's five year basic research program on the measurement and modeling of sea-ice scheduled to take place from 2012-2017. Researchers from the Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) and NRL worked with the Navy Arctic Submarine Lab (ASL) to emplace a 9 km-long ground-truth line near the ice-camp (see Richter-Menge et al., this session) along which ice and snow thickness were directly measured. Additionally, US Navy submarines collected ice draft measurements under the groundtruth line. Repeat passes directly over the ground-truth line were flown and a grid surrounding the line was also flown to collect altimeter, LiDAR and Photogrammetry data. Five CRYOSAT-2 satellite tracks were underflown, as well, coincident with satellite passage. Estimates of sea ice thickness are calculated assuming local hydrostatic balance, and require the densities of water, ice and snow, snow depth, and freeboard (defined as the elevation of sea ice, plus accumulated snow, above local sea level). Snow thickness is estimated from the difference between LiDAR and radar altimeter profiles, the latter of which is assumed to penetrate any snow cover. The concepts we used to estimate ice thickness are similar to those employed in NASA ICEBRIDGE sea-ice thickness estimation. Airborne sensors used for our experiment were a Reigl Q-560 scanning topographic LiDAR, a pulse-limited (2 nS), 10 GHz radar altimeter and an Applanix DSS-439 digital photogrammetric camera (for lead identification). Flights were conducted on a Twin Otter aircraft from Pt. Barrow, AK, and averaged ~ 5 hours in duration. It is challenging to directly compare results from the swath LiDAR with the

  18. About uncertainties in sea ice thickness retrieval from satellite radar altimetry: results from the ESA-CCI Sea Ice ECV Project Round Robin Exercise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kern, S.; Khvorostovsky, K.; Skourup, H.; Rinne, E.; Parsakhoo, Z. S.; Djepa, V.; Wadhams, P.; Sandven, S.

    2014-03-01

    One goal of the European Space Agency Climate Change Initiative sea ice Essential Climate Variable project is to provide a quality controlled 20 year long data set of Arctic Ocean winter-time sea ice thickness distribution. An important step to achieve this goal is to assess the accuracy of sea ice thickness retrieval based on satellite radar altimetry. For this purpose a data base is created comprising sea ice freeboard derived from satellite radar altimetry between 1993 and 2012 and collocated observations of snow and sea ice freeboard from Operation Ice Bridge (OIB) and CryoSat Validation Experiment (CryoVEx) air-borne campaigns, of sea ice draft from moored and submarine Upward Looking Sonar (ULS), and of snow depth from OIB campaigns, Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer aboard EOS (AMSR-E) and the Warren Climatology (Warren et al., 1999). An inter-comparison of the snow depth data sets stresses the limited usefulness of Warren climatology snow depth for freeboard-to-thickness conversion under current Arctic Ocean conditions reported in other studies. This is confirmed by a comparison of snow freeboard measured during OIB and CryoVEx and snow freeboard computed from radar altimetry. For first-year ice the agreement between OIB and AMSR-E snow depth within 0.02 m suggests AMSR-E snow depth as an appropriate alternative. Different freeboard-to-thickness and freeboard-to-draft conversion approaches are realized. The mean observed ULS sea ice draft agrees with the mean sea ice draft computed from radar altimetry within the uncertainty bounds of the data sets involved. However, none of the realized approaches is able to reproduce the seasonal cycle in sea ice draft observed by moored ULS satisfactorily. A sensitivity analysis of the freeboard-to-thickness conversion suggests: in order to obtain sea ice thickness as accurate as 0.5 m from radar altimetry, besides a freeboard estimate with centimetre accuracy, an ice-type dependent sea ice density is as mandatory

  19. The melt pond fraction and spectral sea ice albedo retrieval from MERIS data: validation and trends of sea ice albedo and melt pond fraction in the Arctic for years 2002–2011

    OpenAIRE

    L. Istomina; G. Heygster; M. Huntemann; P. Schwarz; G. Birnbaum; R. Scharien; C. Polashenski; D. Perovich; E. Zege; A. Malinka; A. Prikhach; I. Katsev

    2014-01-01

    The presence of melt ponds on the Arctic sea ice strongly affects the energy balance of the Arctic Ocean in summer. It affects albedo as well as transmittance through the sea ice, which has consequences on the heat balance and mass balance of sea ice. An algorithm to retrieve melt pond fraction and sea ice albedo (Zege et al., 2014) from the MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) data is validated against aerial, ship borne and in situ campaign data. The result sho...

  20. Arctic Ocean sea ice cover during the penultimate glacial and the last interglacial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Ruediger; Fahl, Kirsten; Gierz, Paul; Niessen, Frank; Lohmann, Gerrit

    2017-08-29

    Coinciding with global warming, Arctic sea ice has rapidly decreased during the last four decades and climate scenarios suggest that sea ice may completely disappear during summer within the next about 50-100 years. Here we produce Arctic sea ice biomarker proxy records for the penultimate glacial (Marine Isotope Stage 6) and the subsequent last interglacial (Marine Isotope Stage 5e). The latter is a time interval when the high latitudes were significantly warmer than today. We document that even under such warmer climate conditions, sea ice existed in the central Arctic Ocean during summer, whereas sea ice was significantly reduced along the Barents Sea continental margin influenced by Atlantic Water inflow. Our proxy reconstruction of the last interglacial sea ice cover is supported by climate simulations, although some proxy data/model inconsistencies still exist. During late Marine Isotope Stage 6, polynya-type conditions occurred off the major ice sheets along the northern Barents and East Siberian continental margins, contradicting a giant Marine Isotope Stage 6 ice shelf that covered the entire Arctic Ocean.Coinciding with global warming, Arctic sea ice has rapidly decreased during the last four decades. Here, using biomarker records, the authors show that permanent sea ice was still present in the central Arctic Ocean during the last interglacial, when high latitudes were warmer than present.

  1. Ikaite crystal distribution in Arctic winter sea ice and implications for CO2 system dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rysgaard, Søren; Søgaard, D. H.; Cooper, M.

    2012-01-01

    The precipitation of ikaite (CaCO3·6H2O) in polar sea ice is critical to the efficiency of the sea ice-driven carbon pump and potentially important to the global carbon cycle, yet the spatial and temporal occurrence of ikaite within the ice is poorly known. We report unique observations of ikaite...

  2. Ikaite crystal distribution in winter sea ice and implications for CO2 system dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rysgaard, Søren; Søgaard, D.H.; Cooper, M.

    2013-01-01

    The precipitation of ikaite (CaCO3 ⋅ 6H2O) in polar sea ice is critical to the efficiency of the sea ice-driven carbon pump and potentially important to the global carbon cycle, yet the spatial and temporal occurrence of ikaite within the ice is poorly known. We report unique observations of ikai...

  3. Improved Upper Ocean/Sea Ice Modeling in the GISS GCM for Investigating Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    This project built on our previous results in which we highlighted the importance of sea ice in overall climate sensitivity by determining that for both warming and cooling climates, when sea ice was not allowed to change, climate sensitivity was reduced by 35-40%. We also modified the GISS 8 deg x lO deg atmospheric GCM to include an upper-ocean/sea-ice model involving the Semtner three-layer ice/snow thermodynamic model, the Price et al. (1986) ocean mixed layer model and a general upper ocean vertical advection/diffusion scheme for maintaining and fluxing properties across the pycnocline. This effort, in addition to improving the sea ice representation in the AGCM, revealed a number of sensitive components of the sea ice/ocean system. For example, the ability to flux heat through the ice/snow properly is critical in order to resolve the surface temperature properly, since small errors in this lead to unrestrained climate drift. The present project, summarized in this report, had as its objectives: (1) introducing a series of sea ice and ocean improvements aimed at overcoming remaining weaknesses in the GCM sea ice/ocean representation, and (2) performing a series of sensitivity experiments designed to evaluate the climate sensitivity of the revised model to both Antarctic and Arctic sea ice, determine the sensitivity of the climate response to initial ice distribution, and investigate the transient response to doubling CO2.

  4. Airborne geophysics for mesoscale observations of polar sea ice in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendricks, S.; Haas, C.; Krumpen, T.; Eicken, H.; Mahoney, A. R.

    2016-12-01

    Sea ice thickness is an important geophysical parameter with a significant impact on various processes of the polar energy balance. It is classified as Essential Climate Variable (ECV), however the direct observations of the large ice-covered oceans are limited due to the harsh environmental conditions and logistical constraints. Sea-ice thickness retrieval by the means of satellite remote sensing is an active field of research, but current observational capabilities are not able to capture the small scale variability of sea ice thickness and its evolution in the presence of surface melt. We present an airborne observation system based on a towed electromagnetic induction sensor that delivers long range measurements of sea ice thickness for a wide range of sea ice conditions. The purpose-built sensor equipment can be utilized from helicopters and polar research aircraft in multi-role science missions. While airborne EM induction sounding is used in sea ice research for decades, the future challenge is the development of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platform that meet the requirements for low-level EM sea ice surveys in terms of range and altitude of operations. The use of UAV's could enable repeated sea ice surveys during the the polar night, when manned operations are too dangerous and the observational data base is presently very sparse.

  5. Consistency and discrepancy in the atmospheric response to Arctic sea-ice loss across climate models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Screen, James A.; Deser, Clara; Smith, Doug M.; Zhang, Xiangdong; Blackport, Russell; Kushner, Paul J.; Oudar, Thomas; McCusker, Kelly E.; Sun, Lantao

    2018-03-01

    The decline of Arctic sea ice is an integral part of anthropogenic climate change. Sea-ice loss is already having a significant impact on Arctic communities and ecosystems. Its role as a cause of climate changes outside of the Arctic has also attracted much scientific interest. Evidence is mounting that Arctic sea-ice loss can affect weather and climate throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The remote impacts of Arctic sea-ice loss can only be properly represented using models that simulate interactions among the ocean, sea ice, land and atmosphere. A synthesis of six such experiments with different models shows consistent hemispheric-wide atmospheric warming, strongest in the mid-to-high-latitude lower troposphere; an intensification of the wintertime Aleutian Low and, in most cases, the Siberian High; a weakening of the Icelandic Low; and a reduction in strength and southward shift of the mid-latitude westerly winds in winter. The atmospheric circulation response seems to be sensitive to the magnitude and geographic pattern of sea-ice loss and, in some cases, to the background climate state. However, it is unclear whether current-generation climate models respond too weakly to sea-ice change. We advocate for coordinated experiments that use different models and observational constraints to quantify the climate response to Arctic sea-ice loss.

  6. MASAM2: Daily 4 km Arctic Sea Ice Concentration, 2012-2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The MASIE-AMSR2 (MASAM2) daily 4 km sea ice concentration is a prototype concentration product that is a blend of two other daily sea ice data products: ice coverage...

  7. Inuit and Scientific Perspectives on the Relationship Between Sea Ice and Climate Change. The Ideal Complement?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laidler, G.J. [Department of Geography, University of Toronto at Mississauga, 3359 Mississauga Road North, Mississauga, Ontario, L5L 1C6 (Canada)

    2006-10-15

    Sea ice is influential in regulating energy exchanges between the ocean and the atmosphere, and has figured prominently in scientific studies of climate change and climate feedbacks. However, sea ice is also a vital component of everyday life in Inuit communities of the circumpolar Arctic. Therefore, it is important to understand the links between the potential impacts of climate change on Arctic sea ice extent, distribution, and thickness as well as the related consequences for northern coastal populations. This paper explores the relationship between sea ice and climate change from both scientific and Inuit perspectives. Based on an overview of diverse literature the experiences, methods, and goals which differentiate local and scientific sea ice knowledge are examined. These efforts are considered essential background upon which to develop more accurate assessments of community vulnerability to climate, and resulting sea ice, change. Inuit and scientific perspectives may indeed be the ideal complement when investigating the links between sea ice and climate change, but effective and appropriate conceptual bridges need to be built between the two types of expertise. The complementary nature of these knowledge systems may only be realized, in a practical sense, if significant effort is expended to: (1) understand sea ice from both Inuit and scientific perspectives, along with their underlying differences; (2) investigate common interests or concerns; (3) establish meaningful and reciprocal research partnerships with Inuit communities; (4) engage in, and improve, collaborative research methods; and, (5) maintain ongoing dialogue.

  8. Improved Upper Ocean/Sea Ice Modeling in the GISS GCM for Investigating Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    This project built on our previous results in which we highlighted the importance of sea ice in overall climate sensitivity by determining that for both warming and cooling climates, when sea ice was not allowed to change, climate sensitivity was reduced by 35-40%. We also modified the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) 8 deg x lO deg atmospheric General Circulation Model (GCM) to include an upper-ocean/sea-ice model involving the Semtner three-layer ice/snow thermodynamic model, the Price et al. (1986) ocean mixed layer model and a general upper ocean vertical advection/diffusion scheme for maintaining and fluxing properties across the pycnocline. This effort, in addition to improving the sea ice representation in the AGCM, revealed a number of sensitive components of the sea ice/ocean system. For example, the ability to flux heat through the ice/snow properly is critical in order to resolve the surface temperature properly, since small errors in this lead to unrestrained climate drift. The present project, summarized in this report, had as its objectives: (1) introducing a series of sea ice and ocean improvements aimed at overcoming remaining weaknesses in the GCM sea ice/ocean representation, and (2) performing a series of sensitivity experiments designed to evaluate the climate sensitivity of the revised model to both Antarctic and Arctic sea ice, determine the sensitivity of the climate response to initial ice distribution, and investigate the transient response to doubling CO2.

  9. Sea-ice deformation in a coupled ocean–sea-ice model and in satellite remote sensing data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Spreen

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available A realistic representation of sea-ice deformation in models is important for accurate simulation of the sea-ice mass balance. Simulated sea-ice deformation from numerical simulations with 4.5, 9, and 18 km horizontal grid spacing and a viscous–plastic (VP sea-ice rheology are compared with synthetic aperture radar (SAR satellite observations (RGPS, RADARSAT Geophysical Processor System for the time period 1996–2008. All three simulations can reproduce the large-scale ice deformation patterns, but small-scale sea-ice deformations and linear kinematic features (LKFs are not adequately reproduced. The mean sea-ice total deformation rate is about 40 % lower in all model solutions than in the satellite observations, especially in the seas