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. Sudden increase in Antarctic sea ice: Fact or artifact?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Screen, J. A.

    2011-07-01

    Three sea ice data sets commonly used for climate research display a large and abrupt increase in Antarctic sea ice area (SIA) in recent years. This unprecedented change of SIA is diagnosed to be primarily caused by an apparent sudden increase in sea ice concentrations within the ice pack, especially in the area of the most-concentrated ice (greater than 95% concentration). A series of alternative satellite-derived records do not display any abnormal sudden SIA changes, but do reveal substantial discrepancies between different satellite sensors and sea ice algorithms. Sea ice concentrations in the central ice pack and SIA values derived from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSRE) are consistently greater than those derived from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSMI). A switch in source data from the SSMI to AMSRE in mid-2009 explains most of the SIA increase in all three affected data sets. If uncorrected for, the discontinuity artificially exaggerates the winter Antarctic SIA increase (1979-2010) by more than a factor of 2 and the spring trend by almost a factor of 4. The discontinuity has a weaker influence on the summer and autumn SIA trends, on calculations of Antarctic sea ice extent, and in the Arctic.

  3. Increasing Arctic sea ice export driven by stronger winds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorteberg, A.; Smedsrud, L. H.; Sirevaag, A.; Kloster, K.

    2010-12-01

    Arctic sea ice area has decreased steadily over the last three decades. A thinner and more seasonal Arctic ice cover, related to increased long wave radiation, has become evident. Changes in circulation, including drift patterns of the Arctic pack ice, have been less obvious. Arctic sea ice export estimates have been hampered by low resolution spatial and temporal satellite imagery, especially during summer, making accurate detection difficult. Here we present a new ice area export dataset calculated from sea ice motion and concentration profiles along 79N. Ice drift vectors are calculated from ice feature displacement using Envisat ASAR WideSwath images every 3 days from 2004 while ice concentration is based on DMSP F13 SSMI and AQUA AMSR-E brightness temperature data. The two data sets are combined to give the ice-area flux in consecutive 3-day periods, uninterrupted year-round coverage along 79N. It is shown that sea ice export variability is closely linked to the geostrophic wind in the Fram Strait (correlation of 0.84). Using geostrophic winds from reanalysis back to the 1950s as a proxy for ice export indicates that the Arctic sea ice has annually lost an increasing area since the 1950's driven by stronger winds. Ice concentration has decreased slightly, but does not contribute significantly. The ice export has overall increased by ~25% over the period. Using cyclone tracking the changes in winds seems directly related to a higher low pressure activity in the Nordic Seas. Our results demonstrate that the changes in atmospheric circulation over the Arctic and sub-Arctic have contributed to a trend in the Fram Strait ice export. The Fram Strait between Greenland and Svalbard with average sea ice concentration for summer (red, June through August) and winter (black, January through March). Solid lines are 50%, dashed lines are 15%. Above mean southward ice drift across 79N from August 2004 to July 2010 in 1 degree bins based on SAR imagery, and mean ice

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstrup, Steven C.; Deweaver, E.T.; Douglas, D.C.; Marcot, B.G.; Durner, G.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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

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    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.

  11. Increasing winter conductive heat transfer in the Arctic sea-ice-covered areas: 1979–2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Xieyu; Bi, Haibo; Wang, Yunhe; Fu, Min; Zhou, Xuan; Xu, Xiuli; Huang, Haijun

    2017-12-01

    Sea ice is a quite sensitive indicator in response to regional and global climate changes. Based on monthly mean Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) sea ice thickness fields, we computed the conductive heat flux (CHF) in the Arctic Ocean in the four winter months (November-February) for a long period of 36 years (1979-2014). The calculated results for each month manifest the increasing extension of the domain with high CHF values since 1979 till 2014. In 2014, regions of roughly 90% of the central Arctic Ocean have been dominated by the CHF values larger than 18 W m-2 (November-December) and 12 W m-2 (January-February), especially significant in the shelf seas around the Arctic Ocean. Moreover, the population distribution frequency (PDF) patterns of the CHF with time show gradually peak shifting toward increased CHF values. The spatiotemporal patterns in terms of the trends in sea ice thickness and other three geophysical parameters, surface air temperature (SAT), sea ice thickness (SIT), and CHF, are well coupled. This suggests that the thinner sea ice cover preconditions for the more oceanic heat loss into atmosphere (as suggested by increased CHF values), which probably contributes to warmer atmosphere which in turn in the long run will cause thinner ice cover. This represents a positive feedback mechanism of which the overall effects would amplify the Arctic climate changes.

  12. Increasing cloudiness in Arctic damps the increase in phytoplankton primary production due to sea ice receding

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    S. Bélanger

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The Arctic Ocean and its marginal seas are among the marine regions most affected by climate change. Here we present the results of a diagnostic model used to assess the primary production (PP trends over the 1998–2010 period at pan-Arctic, regional and local (i.e. 9.28 km resolution scales. Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR above and below the sea surface was estimated using precomputed look-up tables of spectral irradiance, taking as input satellite-derived cloud optical thickness and cloud fraction parameters from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP and sea ice concentration from passive microwaves data. A spectrally resolved PP model, designed for optically complex waters, was then used to assess the PP trends at high spatial resolution. Results show that PP is rising at a rate of +2.8 TgC yr−1 (or +14% decade−1 in the circum-Arctic and +5.1 TgC yr−1 when sub-Arctic seas are considered. In contrast, incident PAR above the sea surface (PAR(0+ has significantly decreased over the whole Arctic and sub-Arctic Seas, except over the perennially sea-ice covered waters of the Central Arctic Ocean. This fading of PAR(0+ (−8% decade−1 was caused by increasing cloudiness during summer. Meanwhile, PAR penetrating the ocean (PAR(0− increased only along the sea ice margin over the large Arctic continental shelf where sea ice concentration declined sharply since 1998. Overall, PAR(0− slightly increased in the circum-Arctic (+3.4% decade−1, while it decreased when considering both Arctic and sub-Arctic Seas (−3% decade−1. We showed that rising phytoplankton biomass (i.e. chlorophyll a normalized by the diffuse attenuation of photosynthetically usable radiation (PUR, accounted for a larger proportion of the rise in PP than did the increase in light availability due to sea-ice loss in several sectors, and particularly in perennially and seasonally open waters. Against a general backdrop of rising

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 bo...

  14. Increasing transnational sea-ice exchange in a changing Arctic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Robert; Pfirman, Stephanie; Tremblay, Bruno; DeRepentigny, Patricia

    2017-06-01

    The changing Arctic sea-ice cover is likely to impact the trans-border exchange of sea ice between the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of the Arctic nations, affecting the risk of ice-rafted contamination. We apply the Lagrangian Ice Tracking System (LITS) to identify sea-ice formation events and track sea ice to its melt locations. Most ice (52%) melts within 100 km of where it is formed; ca. 21% escapes from its EEZ. Thus, most contaminants will be released within an ice parcel's originating EEZ, while material carried by over 1 00,000 km2 of ice—an area larger than France and Germany combined—will be released to other nations' waters. Between the periods 1988-1999 and 2000-2014, sea-ice formation increased by ˜17% (roughly 6 million km2 vs. 5 million km2 annually). Melting peaks earlier; freeze-up begins later; and the central Arctic Ocean is more prominent in both formation and melt in the later period. The total area of ice transported between EEZs increased, while transit times decreased: for example, Russian ice reached melt locations in other nations' EEZs an average of 46% faster while North American ice reached destinations in Eurasian waters an average of 37% faster. Increased trans-border exchange is mainly a result of increased speed (˜14% per decade), allowing first-year ice to escape the summer melt front, even as the front extends further north. Increased trans-border exchange over shorter times is bringing the EEZs of the Arctic nations closer together, which should be taken into account in policy development—including establishment of marine-protected areas.

  15. Increased Arctic Sea Ice Drift Alters Polar Bear Movements and Energetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, D. C.; Durner, G. M.; Albeke, S. E.; Whiteman, J. P.; Amstrup, S. C.; Richardson, E.; Wilson, R. R.; Ben-David, M.

    2015-12-01

    Recent thinning of Arctic sea ice has increased its drift from currents and winds. Increased ice drift could affect movements and energy balance of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) which rely, almost exclusively, on this substrate for hunting seals. Foraging by polar bears is a relatively sedentary behavior, as they typically capture their main prey by waiting at breathing holes, where seals haul-out along leads, or by short-distance stalking. We examined the response of polar bears to ice drift in the Beaufort (BS) and Chukchi (CS) seas, and between two periods with different sea ice characteristics: 1987-1998 and 1999-2013. We used satellite-tracked adult female polar bear locations, standardized by a continuous-time correlated random walk, coupled with modeled ice drift, to estimate displacement and drift-corrected bear movements along east-west and north-south axes. Sea ice drift in both regions increased with greater westward and more extreme northward and southward rates from 1987-1998 to 1999-2013. Polar bears responded with greater eastward movements and, in the CS greater movements north and south. We show that efforts by polar bears to compensate for greater westward ice drift in recent years translated into a model-derived estimate of 5.7-7.2% increase in energy expenditure. We also estimated that polar bears increased their travel time 18-20% between the two time periods, suggesting time allocated to foraging was reduced. Increased energetic costs and travel time resulting from greater ice drift, in conjunction with ongoing habitat loss, suggest that recent changes to Arctic sea ice may affect movements and energy balance of polar bears.

  16. Increased CO2 uptake due to sea ice growth and decay in the Nordic Seas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rysgaard, S.; Bendtsen, J.; Pedersen, L. T.

    2009-01-01

    uptake in the Nordic Seas is currently unknown. We present evidence from 50 localities in the Arctic Ocean that dissolved inorganic carbon is rejected together with brine from growing sea ice and that sea ice melting during summer is rich in carbonates. Model calculations show that melting of sea ice......The uptake rates of atmospheric CO2 in the Nordic Seas are among the highest in the world's oceans. This has been ascribed mainly to a strong biological drawdown, but chemical processes within the sea ice itself have also been suggested to play a role. The importance of sea ice for the carbon...

  17. 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.

  18. Antarctic Circumpolar Current Fronts, Winter Sea Ice and Variability: Topographic Influences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talley, L. D.

    2017-12-01

    The Antarctic winter sea ice edge is closely associated with the southernmost Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) fronts, which are guided northeastward, with their cold waters, by mid-ocean ridges in the Pacific and Atlantic, and Kerguelen Plateau in the Indian. In the Amundsen/Bellingshausen Seas and along Adelie Land, the southern ACC fronts are free from topographic control, and swing southwards towards Antarctica, carrying warmer waters. This suggests poleward Sverdrup transport due to wind-driven upwelling, distorted by the major topographic ridges. Hydrographic observations show stronger penetration of full-depth ACC water into the Amundsen/ Bellingshausen Seas in 2011 compared with 1992, consistent with decreasing sea ice and increasing ice-shelf melt. Winter sea ice increased where the southern ACC is topographically locked into northeastward pathways. The standing eddy pattern of ACC poleward heat flux, strengthening winds, and decadal winter sea ice changes are consistent with strengthening circulation along the southern side of the ACC.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

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    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.

  2. Effects of Increased UV and Sea Ice Retreat on Antarctic Marine Larvae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isely, N. M.; Lamare, M.; Marshall, C.

    2008-12-01

    Increased UV radiation caused by a decrease in the levels of stratospheric ozone has the potential to harm marine organisms. The sharpest decrease in ozone can be found over the Antarctic continent during the austral spring. Invertebrates may be particularly susceptible to the effects of increased UV-R because most have a planktonic stage in which their embryos and larvae live in surface waters. Marine invertebrates in the Antarctic are likely to be affected to a greater extent than those in tropical and temperate biomes as there is not only a greater amount of UV-R coming through the atmosphere in these latitudes, but the larval stages are in the water column for a greater period, have slower metabolism, and a stenothermal physiology. These factors have the potential to affect recruitment of new individuals into marine populations. One of the major forms of damage is the creation of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD) in DNA. Previous work has shown that photolyase, a protein that repairs UV-R induced CPDs on DNA, is present in echinoderm larvae, and increases the repair rates of UV-R damaged DNA. During the austral spring of 2007 laboratory and field experiments were carried out on Sterechinus. neumayeri at Cape Evans on Ross Island, Antarctica, and at the ice edge north of Cape Royds. The effects of depth, and consequently dose of UV-R on expression of photolyase was determined. We established that photolyase can be induced by increased UV-R in S. neumayeri, and consequently is dependent on depth of the water column. There also appears to be an upper limit, where increases in UV-R do not induce further photolyase expression. With predictions that the annual ozone hole will be present for at least another 50 years and the possible retreat of sea ice, ambient levels of UV-R in the marine environment of Antarctica will increase. The results of this research suggest that S. neumayeri can compensate for increased DNA damage to UV-R at relatively low levels. But if

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. Role of extratropical cyclones in the recently observed increase in poleward moisture transport into the Arctic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villamil-Otero, Gian A.; Zhang, Jing; He, Juanxiong; Zhang, Xiangdong

    2018-01-01

    Poleward atmospheric moisture transport (AMT) into the Arctic Ocean can change atmospheric moisture or water vapor content and cause cloud formation and redistribution, which may change downward longwave radiation and, in turn, surface energy budgets, air temperatures, and sea-ice production and melt. In this study, we found a consistently enhanced poleward AMT across 60°N since 1959 based on the NCAR-NCEP reanalysis. Regional analysis demonstrates that the poleward AMT predominantly occurs over the North Atlantic and North Pacific regions, contributing about 57% and 32%, respectively, to the total transport. To improve our understanding of the driving force for this enhanced poleward AMT, we explored the role that extratropical cyclone activity may play. Climatologically, about 207 extratropical cyclones move across 60°N into the Arctic Ocean each year, among which about 66 (32% of the total) and 47 (23%) originate from the North Atlantic and North Pacific Ocean, respectively. When analyzing the linear trends of the time series constructed by using a 20-year running window, we found a positive correlation of 0.70 between poleward yearly AMT and the integrated cyclone activity index (measurement of cyclone intensity, number, and duration). This shows the consistent multidecadal changes between these two parameters and may suggest cyclone activity plays a driving role in the enhanced poleward AMT. Furthermore, a composite analysis indicates that intensification and poleward extension of the Icelandic low and accompanying strengthened cyclone activity play an important role in enhancing poleward AMT over the North Atlantic region.

  7. A natural antipredation experiment: predator control and reduced sea ice increases colony size in a long-lived duck.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanssen, Sveinn A; Moe, Børge; Bårdsen, Bård-Jørgen; Hanssen, Frank; Gabrielsen, Geir W

    2013-09-01

    Anthropogenic impact on the environment and wildlife are multifaceted and far-reaching. On a smaller scale, controlling for predators has been increasing the yield from local natural prey resources. Globally, human-induced global warming is expected to impose severe negative effects on ecosystems, an effect that is expected to be even more pronounced in the scarcely populated northern latitudes. The clearest indication of a changing Arctic climate is an increase in both air and ocean temperatures leading to reduced sea ice distribution. Population viability is for long-lived species dependent on adult survival and recruitment. Predation is the main mortality cause in many bird populations, and egg predation is considered the main cause of reproductive failure in many birds. To assess the effect of predation and climate, we compared population time series from a natural experiment where a trapper/down collector has been licensed to actively protect breeding common eiders Somateria mollissima (a large seaduck) by shooting/chasing egg predators, with time series from another eider colony located within a nature reserve with no manipulation of egg predators. We found that actively limiting predator activity led to an increase in the population growth rate and carrying capacity with a factor of 3-4 compared to that found in the control population. We also found that population numbers were higher in years with reduced concentration of spring sea ice. We conclude that there was a large positive impact of human limitation of egg predators, and that this lead to higher population growth rate and a large increase in size of the breeding colony. We also report a positive effect of warming climate in the high arctic as reduced sea-ice concentrations was associated with higher numbers of breeding birds.

  8. The Impact of Moisture Intrusions from Lower Latitudes on Arctic Net Surface Radiative Fluxes and Sea Ice Growth in Fall and Winter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegyi, B. M.; Taylor, P. C.

    2017-12-01

    The fall and winter seasons mark an important period in the evolution of Arctic sea ice, where energy is transferred away from the surface to facilitate the cooling of the surface and the growth of Arctic sea ice extent and thickness. Climatologically, these seasons are characterized by distinct periods of increased and reduced surface cooling and sea ice growth. Periods of reduced sea ice growth and surface cooling are associated with cloudy conditions and the transport of warm and moist air from lower latitudes, termed moisture intrusions. In the research presented, we explore the regional and Arctic-wide impact of moisture intrusions on the surface net radiative fluxes and sea ice growth for each fall and winter season from 2000/01-2015/16, utilizing MERRA2 reanalysis data, PIOMAS sea ice thickness data, and daily CERES radiative flux data. Consistent with previous studies, we find that positive anomalies in downwelling longwave surface flux are associated with increased temperature and water vapor content in the atmospheric column contained within the moisture intrusions. Interestingly, there are periods of increased downwelling LW flux anomalies that persist for one week or longer (i.e. longer than synoptic timescales) that are associated with persistent poleward flux of warm, moist air from lower latitudes. These persistent anomalies significantly reduce the regional growth of Arctic sea ice, and may in part explain the interannual variability of fall and winter Arctic sea ice growth.

  9. Sea ice-associated diet change increases the levels of chlorinated and brominated contaminants in polar bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckinney, Melissa A; Peacock, Elizabeth; Letcher, Robert J

    2009-06-15

    Two global environmental issues, climate change and contamination by persistent organic pollutants, represent major concerns for arctic ecosystems. Yet, it is unclear how these two stressors interact in the Arctic. For instance, the influence of climate-associated changes in food web structure on exposure to pollutants within arctic ecosystems is presently unknown. Here, we report on recent changes in feeding ecology (1991-2007) in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the western Hudson Bay subpopulation that have resulted in increases in the tissue concentrations of several chlorinated and brominated contaminants. Differences in timing of the annual sea ice breakup explained a significant proportion of the diet variation among years. As expected from climate change predictions, this diet change was consistent with an increase in the consumed proportions of open water-associated seal species compared to ice-associated seal species in years of earlier sea ice breakup. Our results demonstrate that climate change is a modulating influence on contaminants in this polar bear subpopulation and may pose an additional and previously unidentified threat to northern ecosystems through altered exposures to contaminants.

  10. [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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Sea Ice Index, Version 3

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Sea Ice Index provides a quick look at Arctic- and Antarctic-wide changes in sea ice. It is a source for consistent, up-to-date sea ice extent and concentration...

  14. 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.

  15. Winter sea ice export from the Laptev Sea preconditions the local summer sea ice cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krumpen, T.; Haas, C.; Itkin, P.

    2016-12-01

    Interannual variability and trends in sea ice export out of the Laptev Sea were investigated using a combination of observations and satellite data. The Laptev Sea shows a statistically positive trend in ice area export that is likely associated to an increase in ice drift velocity being the consequence of a thinning ice cover further north. Moreover, we could show that there is a high statistical connection of the late winter (Jan-May) sea ice export and ice formation in Laptev Sea polynyas to the summer sea ice concentration. By means of a sensitivity study using a coupled sea ice-ocean model (MITgcm), we could highlight the importance of winter sea ice processes for summer sea ice conditions in the Laptev Sea and likewise in the adjacent Siberian Seas. Years of high ice export have a thinning effect on the ice cover, which in turn preconditions early fast ice break up, pack ice melt and the occurrence of negative sea ice extent anomalies in summer. Our model simulation also indicate that observed increase in the sea ice export from the Laptev Sea is accompanied by an increase in the volume export, which is important for the Arctic sea ice budget.

  16. 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.

  17. Evaluation of the sea ice proxy IP25 against observational and diatom proxy data in the SW Labrador Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weckstrom, Kaarina; Masse, Guillaume; Collins, Lewis G.

    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......, identified in marine sediments underlying seasonal sea ice, has emerged as a potential sea ice specific proxy for past sea ice cover. We tested the reliability of this biomarker as a sea ice proxy against observational sea ice data (sea ice concentrations from the global HadISST1 database) and against a more....... When assessed against observational sea ice data, IP25 appears to be a more sensitive indicator of sea ice variability in this setting compared to sea ice diatoms and proved to be a robust and reliable proxy for reconstructing low-frequency variability in past sea ice concentrations. The PIP25 index...

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Winter Northern Hemisphere weather patterns remember summer Arctic sea-ice extent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, Jennifer A.; Chan, Weihan; Leathers, Daniel J.; Miller, James R.; Veron, Dana E.

    2009-04-01

    The dramatic decline in Arctic summer sea-ice cover is a compelling indicator of change in the global climate system and has been attributed to a combination of natural and anthropogenic effects. Through its role in regulating the exchange of energy between the ocean and atmosphere, ice loss is anticipated to influence atmospheric circulation and weather patterns. By combining satellite measurements of sea-ice extent and conventional atmospheric observations, we find that varying summer ice conditions are associated with large-scale atmospheric features during the following autumn and winter well beyond the Arctic's boundary. Mechanisms by which the atmosphere “remembers” a reduction in summer ice cover include warming and destabilization of the lower troposphere, increased cloudiness, and slackening of the poleward thickness gradient that weakens the polar jet stream. This ice-atmosphere relationship suggests a potential long-range outlook for weather patterns in the northern hemisphere.

  2. Solar radiation interactions with seasonal sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehn, Jens Kristian

    Presently, the Arctic Ocean is undergoing an escalating reduction in sea ice and a transition towards a seasonal sea ice environment. This warrants detailed investigations into improving our understanding of the seasonal evolution of sea ice and snow covers, and their representation in climate models. The interaction of solar radiation with sea ice is an important process influencing the energy balance and biological activity in polar seas, and consequently plays a key role in the earth's climate system. This thesis focuses on characterization of the optical properties---and the underlying physical properties that determine them---of seasonal sea ice during the fall freeze-up and the spring melt periods. Both periods display high spatial heterogeneity and rapid temporal changes in sea ice properties, and are therefore poorly understood. Field data were collected in Amundsen Gulf/Franklin Bay (FB), southern-eastern Beaufort Sea, in Oct.-Nov. 2003 and Apr. 2004 and in Button Bay (BB), western Hudson Bay, in Mar.-May 2005 to address (1) the temporal and spatial evolution of surface albedo and transmittance, (2) how radiative transfer in sea ice is controlled by its physical nature, and (3) the characteristics of the bottom ice algae community and its effect on the optical properties. The fall study showed the importance of surface features such as dry or slushy bare ice, frost flowers and snow cover in determining the surface albedo. Ice thickness was also important, however, mostly because surface features were associated with thickness. For example, nilas (brine skim layer on the surface, while surface conditions on thicker ice types were cold and dry enough to support a snow cover. In general, the surface albedo increased exponentially with an ice thickness increase, however, variability within ice thickness types were very large. It is apparent that a more complete treatment of brine movement towards the surface ice of the ice cover and the formation of surface

  3. 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.

  4. IOMASA SEA ICE DEVELOPMENTS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Søren; Tonboe, Rasmus; Heygster, Georg

    2005-01-01

    and determine the circumstances that may lead to anomalous sea ice concentration retrieval as well as to assess and possibly minimize the sensitivities of the retrieval system. Through an active partnership with the SAF on Ocean and Sea Ice, a prototype system will be implemented as an experimental product...... chain in order to shorten the loop from development to operational processing. The presentation will present the developments and examples of the new retrievals and finally give an outlook to the future perspectives of the system....

  5. Submesoscale Sea Ice-Ocean Interactions in Marginal Ice Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manucharyan, Georgy E.; Thompson, Andrew F.

    2017-12-01

    Signatures of ocean eddies, fronts, and filaments are commonly observed within marginal ice zones (MIZs) from satellite images of sea ice concentration, and in situ observations via ice-tethered profilers or underice gliders. However, localized and intermittent sea ice heating and advection by ocean eddies are currently not accounted for in climate models and may contribute to their biases and errors in sea ice forecasts. Here, we explore mechanical sea ice interactions with underlying submesoscale ocean turbulence. We demonstrate that the release of potential energy stored in meltwater fronts can lead to energetic submesoscale motions along MIZs with spatial scales O(10 km) and Rossby numbers O(1). In low-wind conditions, cyclonic eddies and filaments efficiently trap the sea ice and advect it over warmer surface ocean waters where it can effectively melt. The horizontal eddy diffusivity of sea ice mass and heat across the MIZ can reach O(200 m2 s-1). Submesoscale ocean variability also induces large vertical velocities (order 10 m d-1) that can bring relatively warm subsurface waters into the mixed layer. The ocean-sea ice heat fluxes are localized over cyclonic eddies and filaments reaching about 100 W m-2. We speculate that these submesoscale-driven intermittent fluxes of heat and sea ice can contribute to the seasonal evolution of MIZs. With the continuing global warming and sea ice thickness reduction in the Arctic Ocean, submesoscale sea ice-ocean processes are expected to become increasingly prominent.

  6. Towards Improving Sea Ice Predictabiity: Evaluating Climate Models Against Satellite Sea Ice Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroeve, J. C.

    2014-12-01

    The last four decades have seen a remarkable decline in the spatial extent of the Arctic sea ice cover, presenting both challenges and opportunities to Arctic residents, government agencies and industry. After the record low extent in September 2007 effort has increased to improve seasonal, decadal-scale and longer-term predictions of the sea ice cover. Coupled global climate models (GCMs) consistently project that if greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise, the eventual outcome will be a complete loss of the multiyear ice cover. However, confidence in these projections depends o HoHoweon the models ability to reproduce features of the present-day climate. Comparison between models participating in the World Climate Research Programme Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) and observations of sea ice extent and thickness show that (1) historical trends from 85% of the model ensemble members remain smaller than observed, and (2) spatial patterns of sea ice thickness are poorly represented in most models. Part of the explanation lies with a failure of models to represent details of the mean atmospheric circulation pattern that governs the transport and spatial distribution of sea ice. These results raise concerns regarding the ability of CMIP5 models to realistically represent the processes driving the decline of Arctic sea ice and to project the timing of when a seasonally ice-free Arctic may be realized. On shorter time-scales, seasonal sea ice prediction has been challenged to predict the sea ice extent from Arctic conditions a few months to a year in advance. Efforts such as the Sea Ice Outlook (SIO) project, originally organized through the Study of Environmental Change (SEARCH) and now managed by the Sea Ice Prediction Network project (SIPN) synthesize predictions of the September sea ice extent based on a variety of approaches, including heuristic, statistical and dynamical modeling. Analysis of SIO contributions reveals that when the

  7. Dynamic preconditioning of the September sea-ice extent minimum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, James; Tremblay, Bruno; Newton, Robert; Allard, Richard

    2016-04-01

    There has been an increased interest in seasonal forecasting of the sea-ice extent in recent years, in particular the minimum sea-ice extent. We propose a dynamical mechanism, based on winter preconditioning through first year ice formation, that explains a significant fraction of the variance in the anomaly of the September sea-ice extent from the long-term linear trend. To this end, we use a Lagrangian trajectory model to backtrack the September sea-ice edge to any time during the previous winter and quantify the amount of sea-ice divergence along the Eurasian and Alaskan coastlines as well as the Fram Strait sea-ice export. We find that coastal divergence that occurs later in the winter (March, April and May) is highly correlated with the following September sea-ice extent minimum (r = -0.73). This is because the newly formed first year ice will melt earlier allowing for other feedbacks (e.g. ice albedo feedback) to start amplifying the signal early in the melt season when the solar input is large. We find that the winter mean Fram Strait sea-ice export anomaly is also correlated with the minimum sea-ice extent the following summer. Next we backtrack a synthetic ice edge initialized at the beginning of the melt season (June 1st) in order to develop hindcast models of the September sea-ice extent that do not rely on a-priori knowledge of the minimum sea-ice extent. We find that using a multi-variate regression model of the September sea-ice extent anomaly based on coastal divergence and Fram Strait ice export as predictors reduces the error by 41%. A hindcast model based on the mean DJFMA Arctic Oscillation index alone reduces the error by 24%.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Sea Ice - The overlooked Player in the Arctic Methane Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damm, E.

    2017-12-01

    Methane is a greenhouse gas and increasing atmospheric concentrations contribute to trigger global warming. The Arctic hosts large natural methane sources and is expected to be a region where warming feeds warming, i.e. temperature changes may quickly induce enhanced methane emissions. This Arctic amplification of global warming has led to increased summer sea ice retreat, thinning sea ice and decreasing multiyear and increasing one-year sea ice. Hence as feedback to a feedback, sea ice loss will have until now unforeseen consequences for methane efflux while as well as sea ice-ocean interactions and shelf-ocean links have to be taken into account. I will present an overview of multiple direct and indirect effects of sea ice on the marine methane cycle not yet counted. Arctic shelf water is reported to be methane super-saturated in summer. Hence an important interaction between sea ice and methane is to be expected when sea ice formation on shelves induces super-saturated brine which will be enclosed in sea ice during winter and released in spring during melt. It will be shown that especially Polynya regions allow studying the effect of strong ice formation in winter which generate deep convection and resuspension of sediments with subsequent methane release. Once released, then methane may either directly escape to the atmosphere or remain trapped in sea ice. The further fate of the enclosed methane is closely coupled to the fate of the sea ice. Hence thinning and shifts in sea ice-age will be pivotal for methane cycling. Sea ice drift may transport shelf- released methane to remote locations in the interior Arctic where the cascade of freezing and melting events triggers the level of super-saturation in Polar surface water below. To date these kinds of sea ice-ocean interaction processes initially induced by shelf-released methane are the most unknown boxes in calculating the methane budget. Considering these pathways instead of efflux estimations calculated by

  11. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krapp, Rupert H., E-mail: rkrapp@ipoe.uni-kiel.de [University of Kiel, Institute for Polar Ecology, Wischhofstr. 1-3, Building 12, 24148 Kiel (Germany); University Center in Svalbard, Postbox 156, 9171 Longyearbyen (Norway); Bassinet, Thievery [International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS), Mekjarvik 12, N-4070 Randaberg (Norway); Berge, Jorgen [University Center in Svalbard, Postbox 156, 9171 Longyearbyen (Norway); Pampanin, Daniela M. [International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS), Mekjarvik 12, N-4070 Randaberg (Norway); Camus, Lionel [Akvaplan-niva a/s, Polar Environmental Centre, N-9296 Tromso (Norway)

    2009-08-13

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. EASE-Grid Sea Ice Age

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set provides weekly estimates of sea ice age for the Arctic Ocean from remotely sensed sea ice motion and sea ice extent. The ice age data are derived from...

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. Sea-ice loss boosts visual search: fish foraging and changing pelagic interactions in polar oceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langbehn, Tom J; Varpe, Øystein

    2017-12-01

    Light is a central driver of biological processes and systems. Receding sea ice changes the lightscape of high-latitude oceans and more light will penetrate into the sea. This affects bottom-up control through primary productivity and top-down control through vision-based foraging. We model effects of sea-ice shading on visual search to develop a mechanistic understanding of how climate-driven sea-ice retreat affects predator-prey interactions. We adapt a prey encounter model for ice-covered waters, where prey-detection performance of planktivorous fish depends on the light cycle. We use hindcast sea-ice concentrations (past 35 years) and compare with a future no-ice scenario to project visual range along two south-north transects with different sea-ice distributions and seasonality, one through the Bering Sea and one through the Barents Sea. The transect approach captures the transition from sub-Arctic to Arctic ecosystems and allows for comparison of latitudinal differences between longitudes. We find that past sea-ice retreat has increased visual search at a rate of 2.7% to 4.2% per decade from the long-term mean; and for high latitudes, we predict a 16-fold increase in clearance rate. Top-down control is therefore predicted to intensify. Ecological and evolutionary consequences for polar marine communities and energy flows would follow, possibly also as tipping points and regime shifts. We expect species distributions to track the receding ice-edge, and in particular expect species with large migratory capacity to make foraging forays into high-latitude oceans. However, the extreme seasonality in photoperiod of high-latitude oceans may counteract such shifts and rather act as a zoogeographical filter limiting poleward range expansion. The provided mechanistic insights are relevant for pelagic ecosystems globally, including lakes where shifted distributions are seldom possible but where predator-prey consequences would be much related. As part of the discussion

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Polar zoobenthos blue carbon storage increases with sea ice losses, because across-shelf growth gains from longer algal blooms outweigh ice scour mortality in the shallows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, David K A

    2017-12-01

    One of the major climate-forced global changes has been white to blue to green; losses of sea ice extent in time and space around Arctic and West Antarctic seas has increased open water and the duration (though not magnitude) of phytoplankton blooms. Blueing of the poles has increases potential for heat absorption for positive feedback but conversely the longer phytoplankton blooms have increased carbon export to storage and sequestration by shelf benthos. However, ice shelf collapses and glacier retreat can calve more icebergs, and the increased open water allows icebergs more opportunities to scour the seabed, reducing zoobenthic blue carbon capture and storage. Here the size and variability in benthic blue carbon in mega and macrobenthos was assessed in time and space at Ryder and Marguerite bays of the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). In particular the influence of the duration of primary productivity and ice scour are investigated from the shallows to typical shelf depths of 500 m. Ice scour frequency dominated influence on benthic blue carbon at 5 m, to comparable with phytoplankton duration by 25 m depth. At 500 m only phytoplankton duration was significant and influential. WAP zoobenthos was calculated to generate ~10 7 , 4.5 × 10 6 and 1.6 × 10 6 tonnes per year (between 2002 and 2015) in terms of production, immobilization and sequestration of carbon respectively. Thus about 1% of annual primary productivity has sequestration potential at the end of the trophic cascade. Polar zoobenthic blue carbon capture and storage responses to sea ice losses, the largest negative feedback on climate change, has been underestimated despite some offsetting of gain by increased ice scouring with more open water. Equivalent survey of Arctic and sub-Antarctic shelves, for which new projects have started, should reveal the true extent of this feedback and how much its variability contributes to uncertainty in climate models. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. 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).

  2. Roles of wind stress and thermodynamic forcing in recent trends in Antarctic sea ice and Southern Ocean SST: An ocean-sea ice model study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kusahara, Kazuya; Williams, Guy D.; Massom, Robert; Reid, Phillip; Hasumi, Hiroyasu

    2017-11-01

    In contrast to a strong decrease in Arctic sea ice extent, overall Antarctic sea ice extent has modestly increased since 1979. Several hypotheses have been proposed for the net Antarctic sea ice expansion, including atmosphere/ocean circulation and temperature changes, sea ice-atmospheric-ocean feedback, increased precipitation, and enhanced basal meltwater from ice shelves. Concomitant with this positive trend in Antarctic sea ice, sea surface temperatures (SSTs) over the Southern Ocean south of approximately 45°S have cooled over this period. However, the mechanisms responsible for the Antarctic sea ice expansion and the SST cooling trend remain poorly defined. Here, we conduct comprehensive sensitivity experiments using a coupled ocean-sea ice model with a steady-state ice shelf component in order to investigate the main drivers of recent trends in Antarctic sea ice and SST over the Southern Ocean. The results suggest that Antarctic sea ice expansion is mostly explained by trends in the thermodynamic surface forcing, notably cooling and drying and a reduction in longwave radiation. Similarly, thermodynamic forcing is found to be the main driver of the zonal SST cooling trend. While apparently less influential on sea ice extent and SST, wind stress plays a key role in sea ice motion, thickening coastal sea ice, and thinning and decreasing the concentration of ice in mid-pack regions of the Amundsen-eastern Ross seas and 65-95°E in winter-spring. Furthermore, the model suggests that ocean-ice shelf interaction does not significantly influence the observed trends in Antarctic sea ice coverage and Southern Ocean SST in recent decades.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

  6. Sea Ice Concentration and Extent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comiso, Josefino C.

    2014-01-01

    Among the most seasonal and most dynamic parameters on the surface of the Earth is sea ice which at any one time covers about 3-6% of the planet. In the Northern Hemisphere, sea ice grows in extent from about 6 x 10(exp 6) sq km to 16 x 10(exp 6) sq km, while in the Southern Hemisphere, it grows from about 3 x 10(exp 6) sq km to about 19 x 10(exp 6) sq km (Comiso, 2010; Gloersen et al., 1992). Sea ice is up to about 2-3 m thick in the Northern Hemisphere and about 1 m thick in the Southern Hemisphere (Wadhams, 2002), and compared to the average ocean depth of about 3 km, it is a relatively thin, fragile sheet that can break due to waves and winds or melt due to upwelling of warm water. Being constantly advected by winds, waves, and currents, sea ice is very dynamic and usually follows the directions of the many gyres in the polar regions. Despite its vast expanse, the sea ice cover was previously left largely unstudied and it was only in recent years that we have understood its true impact and significance as related to the Earths climate, the oceans, and marine life.

  7. Analysis of sea ice dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, J.

    1988-01-01

    The ongoing work has established the basis for using multiyear sea ice concentrations from SMMR passive microwave for studies of largescale advection and convergence/divergence of the Arctic sea ice pack. Comparisons were made with numerical model simulations and buoy data showing qualitative agreement on daily to interannual time scales. Analysis of the 7-year SMMR data set shows significant interannual variations in the total area of multiyear ice. The scientific objective is to investigate the dynamics, mass balance, and interannual variability of the Arctic sea ice pack. The research emphasizes the direct application of sea ice parameters derived from passive microwave data (SMMR and SSMI) and collaborative studies using a sea ice dynamics model. The possible causes of observed interannual variations in the multiyear ice area are being examined. The relative effects of variations in the large scale advection and convergence/divergence within the ice pack on a regional and seasonal basis are investigated. The effects of anomolous atmospheric forcings are being examined, including the long-lived effects of synoptic events and monthly variations in the mean geostrophic winds. Estimates to be made will include the amount of new ice production within the ice pack during winter and the amount of ice exported from the pack.

  8. 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.)

  9. 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.

  10. Reproducing Sea-Ice Deformation Distributions With Viscous-Plastic Sea-Ice Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchat, A.; Tremblay, B.

    2016-02-01

    High resolution sea-ice dynamic models offer the potential to discriminate between sea-ice rheologies based on their ability to reproduce the satellite-derived deformation fields. Recent studies have shown that sea-ice viscous-plastic (VP) models do not reproduce the observed statistical properties of the strain rate distributions of the RADARSAT Geophysical Processor System (RGPS) deformation fields [1][2]. We use the elliptical VP rheology and we compute the probability density functions (PDFs) for simulated strain rate invariants (divergence and maximum shear stress) and compare against the deformations obtained with the 3-day gridded products from RGPS. We find that the large shear deformations are well reproduced by the elliptical VP model and the deformations do not follow a Gaussian distribution as reported in Girard et al. [1][2]. On the other hand, we do find an overestimation of the shear in the range of mid-magnitude deformations in all of our VP simulations tested with different spatial resolutions and numerical parameters. Runs with no internal stress (free-drift) or with constant viscosity coefficients (Newtonian fluid) also show this overestimation. We trace back this discrepancy to the elliptical yield curve aspect ratio (e = 2) having too little shear strength, hence not resisting enough the inherent shear in the wind forcing associated with synoptic weather systems. Experiments where we simply increase the shear resistance of the ice by modifying the ellipse ratio confirm the need for a rheology with an increased shear strength. [1] Girard et al. (2009), Evaluation of high-resolution sea ice models [...], Journal of Geophysical Research, 114[2] Girard et al. (2011), A new modeling framework for sea-ice mechanics [...], Annals of Glaciology, 57, 123-132

  11. 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.

  12. Brief communication: Increasing shortwave absorption over the Arctic Ocean is not balanced by trends in the Antarctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katlein, Christian; Hendricks, Stefan; Key, Jeffrey

    2017-09-01

    On the basis of a new, consistent, long-term observational satellite dataset we show that, despite the observed increase of sea ice extent in the Antarctic, absorption of solar shortwave radiation in the Southern Ocean poleward of 60° latitude is not decreasing. The observations hence show that the small increase in Antarctic sea ice extent does not compensate for the combined effect of retreating Arctic sea ice and changes in cloud cover, which both result in a total increase in solar shortwave energy deposited into the polar oceans.

  13. Brief communication: Increasing shortwave absorption over the Arctic Ocean is not balanced by trends in the Antarctic

    OpenAIRE

    C. Katlein; S. Hendricks; J. Key

    2017-01-01

    On the basis of a new, consistent, long-term observational satellite dataset we show that, despite the observed increase of sea ice extent in the Antarctic, absorption of solar shortwave radiation in the Southern Ocean poleward of 60° latitude is not decreasing. The observations hence show that the small increase in Antarctic sea ice extent does not compensate for the combined effect of retreating Arctic sea ice and changes in cloud cover, which both result in a total increase in solar shortw...

  14. 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,...

  15. Isolating the Liquid Cloud Response to Recent Arctic Sea Ice Variability Using Spaceborne Lidar Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, A. L.; Kay, J. E.; Chepfer, H.; Guzman, R.; Yettella, V.

    2018-01-01

    While the radiative influence of clouds on Arctic sea ice is known, the influence of sea ice cover on Arctic clouds is challenging to detect, separate from atmospheric circulation, and attribute to human activities. Providing observational constraints on the two-way relationship between sea ice cover and Arctic clouds is important for predicting the rate of future sea ice loss. Here we use 8 years of CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) spaceborne lidar observations from 2008 to 2015 to analyze Arctic cloud profiles over sea ice and over open water. Using a novel surface mask to restrict our analysis to where sea ice concentration varies, we isolate the influence of sea ice cover on Arctic Ocean clouds. The study focuses on clouds containing liquid water because liquid-containing clouds are the most important cloud type for radiative fluxes and therefore for sea ice melt and growth. Summer is the only season with no observed cloud response to sea ice cover variability: liquid cloud profiles are nearly identical over sea ice and over open water. These results suggest that shortwave summer cloud feedbacks do not slow long-term summer sea ice loss. In contrast, more liquid clouds are observed over open water than over sea ice in the winter, spring, and fall in the 8 year mean and in each individual year. Observed fall sea ice loss cannot be explained by natural variability alone, which suggests that observed increases in fall Arctic cloud cover over newly open water are linked to human activities.

  16. Sea-Ice Deformation in a Coupled Ocean-Sea Ice Model and in Satellite Remote Sensing Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spreen, G.; Kwok, R.; Menemenlis, D.; Nguyen, A. T.

    2016-12-01

    A realistic representation of sea-ice deformation in models is important for accurate simulation of the sea ice mass balance. Simulated sea-ice deformation strain rates from model simulations with 4.5, 9, and 18-km horizontal grid spacing are compared with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite observations (RGPS). The used MITgcm model employs a viscous-plastic sea ice rheology. The figure below shows the ice thickness distributions for the three simulations on 15 November 1999. More ice fracturing and leads are visible in the 4.5 km solution. All three simulations can reproduce the large-scale ice deformation patterns, but small-scale sea-ice deformations and linear kinematic features are not adequately reproduced. The mean sea-ice total deformation rate is about 50% lower in all model solutions than in the satellite observations, especially in the seasonal sea ice zone. A decrease in model grid spacing, however, produces a higher density and more localized ice deformation features. The spatial scaling and probability density functions of all three model solutions follow a power-law similar to the RGPS observations, and contrary to what is found in other studies. Overall, the 4.5-km simulation produces the lowest misfits in divergence, vorticity, and shear when compared with RGPS data. Model sensitivity experiments show a strong impact of the ice strength parametrization on the Arctic Basin sea ice volume, which increased by 7% and 35% for a decrease in ice strength of, respectively, 30% and 70%, after 8 years of model integration. This volume increase is caused by a combination of dynamic and thermodynamic processes: the ice thickness increased by enhanced deformation and ice growth in leads, which is followed by a decrease in ice export. The balance of these processes leads to a new equilibrium Arctic Basin ice volume. Not addressed in this study is whether the differences between simulated and observed deformation rates are an intrinsic limitation of the

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

    OpenAIRE

    Katlein, Christian; Schiller, Martin; Belter, Hans J.; Coppolaro, Veronica; Wenslandt, David; Nicolaus, Marcel

    2017-01-01

    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 v...

  18. The sea-ice in Young Sound: Implications for Carbon cycling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    Most of the year, Young Sound is covered by c. 160 cm thick sea ice overlain by a 20-100 cm thick snow cover. During the last 50 years the sea-ice-free period has varied between 63 and 131 days, but during the last 10–15 years there has been a tendency towards an increase in the sea-ice-free peri...

  19. Thin ice and storms: Sea ice deformation from buoy arrays deployed during N-ICE2015

    OpenAIRE

    Itkin, Polona; Spreen, Gunnar; Cheng, Bin; Doble, Martin; Girard-Ardhuin, Fanny; Haapala, Jari; Hughes, Nick; Kaleschke, Lars; Nicolaus, Marcel; Wilkinson, Jeremy

    2017-01-01

    Arctic sea ice has displayed significant thinning as well as an increase in drift speed in recent years. Taken together this suggests an associated rise in sea ice deformation rate. A winter and spring expedition to the sea ice covered region north of Svalbard – the Norwegian young sea ICE 2015 expedition (N-ICE2015) - gave an opportunity to deploy extensive buoy arrays and to monitor the deformation of the first- and second-year ice now common in the majority of the Arctic Basin. During the ...

  20. Guide to Sea Ice Information and Sea Ice Data Online - the Sea Ice Knowledge and Data Platform www.meereisportal.de and www.seaiceportal.de

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treffeisen, R. E.; Nicolaus, M.; Bartsch, A.; Fritzsch, B.; Grosfeld, K.; Haas, C.; Hendricks, S.; Heygster, G.; Hiller, W.; Krumpen, T.; Melsheimer, C.; Ricker, R.; Weigelt, M.

    2016-12-01

    The combination of multi-disciplinary sea ice science and the rising demand of society for up-to-date information and user customized products places emphasis on creating new ways of communication between science and society. The new knowledge platform is a contribution to the cross-linking of scientifically qualified information on climate change, and focuses on the theme: `sea ice' in both Polar Regions. With this platform, the science opens to these changing societal demands. It is the first comprehensive German speaking knowledge platform on sea ice; the platform went online in 2013. The web site delivers popularized information for the general public as well as scientific data meant primarily for the more expert readers and scientists. It also provides various tools allowing for visitor interaction. The demand for the web site indicates a high level of interest from both the general public and experts. It communicates science-based information to improve awareness and understanding of sea ice related research. The principle concept of the new knowledge platform is based on three pillars: (1) sea ice knowledge and background information, (2) data portal with visualizations, and (3) expert knowledge, latest research results and press releases. Since then, the content and selection of data sets increased and the data portal received increasing attention, also from the international science community. Meanwhile, we are providing near-real time and archived data of many key parameters of sea ice and its snow cover. The data sets result from measurements acquired by various platforms as well as numerical simulations. Satellite observations (e.g., AMSR2, CryoSat-2 and SMOS) of sea ice concentration, freeboard, thickness and drift are available as gridded data sets. Sea ice and snow temperatures and thickness as well as atmospheric parameters are available from autonomous ice-tethered platforms (buoys). Additional ship observations, ice station measurements, and

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Arctic sea ice decline and ice export in the CMIP5 historical simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langehaug, H. R.; Geyer, F.; Smedsrud, L. H.; Gao, Y.

    2013-11-01

    Arctic sea ice properties and Fram Strait ice export from six CMIP5 Global Climate and Earth System Models are evaluated and investigated for the period 1957-2005. Over the last decades most ensemble members simulate a decreasing September sea ice area and a slow, general thinning of the sea ice cover. While the different ensemble members both under- and overestimate the decline in observed September sea ice area, none of the members reproduce the observed thinning. This study is a first attempt to evaluate the Fram Strait ice area export in the CMIP5 models, and the role it has played for Arctic sea ice area and thickness. Five of the six models evaluated reproduce the seasonal cycle and the inter-annual variance of the ice area export in the Fram Strait reasonably well. The simulated southward export of sea ice in the Fram Strait constitutes a major fraction of the Arctic sea ice in these five models; 10-18% of the sea ice covered Arctic Basin is annually exported. For the same models the year-to-year variability in Fram Strait ice volume export carries 35% of the year-to-year variability in the Arctic Basin sea ice volume. We have found low but significant correlations on inter-annual timescales between the Fram Strait ice export, both in terms of area and volume, and the Arctic Basin sea ice thickness. All six models show that an increase in ice area export leads a decrease in the sea ice thickness. This inverse relationship also holds when considering the long-term trends; the larger the increase in Fram Strait ice area export, the larger the thinning of the Arctic Basin sea ice cover and the larger the loss in the September sea ice area. The different ensemble members show both negative and positive ice export trends. Focusing on the model with the largest number of ensemble members (10), we have been able to quantify the effect of the ice area export on the Arctic Basin sea ice for this particular model. For this model an increase of the ice area export

  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. Online sea ice data platform: www.seaiceportal.de

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolaus, Marcel; Asseng, Jölund; Bartsch, Annekathrin; Bräuer, Benny; Fritzsch, Bernadette; Grosfeld, Klaus; Hendricks, Stefan; Hiller, Wolfgang; Heygster, Georg; Krumpen, Thomas; Melsheimer, Christian; Ricker, Robert; Treffeisen, Renate; Weigelt, Marietta; Nicolaus, Anja; Lemke, Peter

    2016-04-01

    There is an increasing public interest in sea ice information from both Polar Regions, which requires up-to-date background information and data sets at different levels for various target groups. In order to serve this interest and need, seaiceportal.de (originally: meereisportal.de) was developed as a comprehensive German knowledge platform on sea ice and its snow cover in the Arctic and Antarctic. It was launched in April 2013. Since then, the content and selection of data sets increased and the data portal received increasing attention, also from the international science community. Meanwhile, we are providing near-real time and archive data of many key parameters of sea ice and its snow cover. The data sets result from measurements acquired by various platforms as well as numerical simulations. Satellite observations of sea ice concentration, freeboard, thickness and drift are available as gridded data sets. Sea ice and snow temperatures and thickness as well as atmospheric parameters are available from autonomous platforms (buoys). Additional ship observations, ice station measurements, and mooring time series are compiled as data collections over the last decade. In parallel, we are continuously extending our meta-data and uncertainty information for all data sets. In addition to the data portal, seaiceportal.de provides general comprehensive background information on sea ice and snow as well as expert statements on recent observations and developments. This content is mostly in German in order to complement the various existing international sites for the German speaking public. We will present the portal, its content and function, but we are also asking for direct user feedback.

  6. 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.

  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

    2017-04-01

    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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Impact of sea ice on the marine iron cycle and phytoplankton productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, S.; Bailey, D.; Lindsay, K.; Moore, J. K.; Holland, M.

    2014-09-01

    Iron is a key nutrient for phytoplankton growth in the surface ocean. At high latitudes, the iron cycle is closely related to the dynamics of sea ice. In recent decades, Arctic sea ice cover has been declining rapidly and Antarctic sea ice has exhibited large regional trends. A significant reduction of sea ice in both hemispheres is projected in future climate scenarios. In order to adequately study the effect of sea ice on the polar iron cycle, sea ice bearing iron was incorporated in the Community Earth System Model (CESM). Sea ice acts as a reservoir for iron during winter and releases the trace metal to the surface ocean in spring and summer. Simulated iron concentrations in sea ice generally agree with observations in regions where iron concentrations are relatively low. The maximum iron concentrations simulated in Arctic and Antarctic sea ice are much lower than observed, which is likely due to underestimation of iron inputs to sea ice or missing mechanisms. The largest iron source to sea ice is suspended sediments, contributing fluxes of iron of 2.2 × 108 mol Fe month-1 in the Arctic and 4.1 × 106 mol Fe month-1 in the Southern Ocean during summer. As a result of the iron flux from ice, iron concentrations increase significantly in the Arctic. Iron released from melting ice increases phytoplankton production in spring and summer and shifts phytoplankton community composition in the Southern Ocean. Results for the period of 1998 to 2007 indicate that a reduction of sea ice in the Southern Ocean will have a negative influence on phytoplankton production. Iron transport by sea ice appears to be an important process bringing iron to the central Arctic. The impact of ice to ocean iron fluxes on marine ecosystems is negligible in the current Arctic Ocean, as iron is not typically the growth-limiting nutrient. However, it may become a more important factor in the future, particularly in the central Arctic, as iron concentrations will decrease with declining sea

  16. Influence of Sea Ice on the Thermohaline Circulation in the Arctic-North Atlantic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauritzen, Cecilie; Haekkinen, Sirpa

    1997-01-01

    A fully prognostic coupled ocean-ice model is used to study the sensitivity of the overturning cell of the Arctic-North-Atlantic system to sea ice forcing. The strength of the thermohaline cell will be shown to depend on the amount of sea ice transported from the Arctic to the Greenland Sea and further to the subpolar gyre. The model produces a 2-3 Sv increase of the meridional circulation cell at 25N (at the simulation year 15) corresponding to a decrease of 800 cu km in the sea ice export from the Arctic. Previous modeling studies suggest that interannual and decadal variability in sea ice export of this magnitude is realistic, implying that sea ice induced variability in the overturning cell can reach 5-6 Sv from peak to peak.

  17. Interactions between Arctic sea ice drift, concentration and thickness modelled by NEMO-LIM3.6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Docquier, David; Massonnet, François; Tandon, Neil F.; Lecomte, Olivier; Fichefet, Thierry

    2017-04-01

    Sea ice cover and thickness have substantially decreased in the Arctic Ocean since the beginning of the satellite era. As a result, sea ice strength has been reduced, allowing more deformation and fracturing and leading to increased sea ice drift speed. We use the global ocean-sea ice NEMO-LIM3.6 model as well as satellite and buoy observations over the period from 1979 to 2013 to study the interactions between sea ice drift, concentration and thickness. Overall, the model agrees well with observations in terms of sea ice extent, concentration and thickness. Although the seasonal cycle of sea ice drift is reasonably well reproduced by the model, the modelled values are generally higher and the trend is weaker compared to observations, resulting in lower sea ice export at Fram Strait than observed. NEMO-LIM3.6 is able to capture the relationship between sea ice drift and strength in terms of seasonal cycle, with higher drift for both lower concentration and lower thickness, in agreement with observations. Sensitivity experiments are carried out by varying the initial ice strength and show that higher values of ice strength lead to lower ice thickness. The negative feedback between sea ice strength, heat loss and thickness can explain these results. This study forms part of the EU Horizon 2020 PRIMAVERA project aiming at developing a new generation of advanced and well-evaluated high-resolution global climate models.

  18. 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)

    Posey, P. G.; Metzger, E. J.; Wallcraft, A. J.; Hebert, D. A.; Allard, R. A.; Smedstad, O. M.; Phelps, M. W.; Fetterer, F.; Stewart, J. S.; Meier, W. N.; Helfrich, S. R.

    2015-08-01

    This study presents the improvement in ice edge error within the US Navy's operational sea ice forecast systems gained by assimilating high horizontal resolution satellite-derived ice concentration products. Since the late 1980's, the ice forecast systems have assimilated near real-time sea ice concentration derived from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSMI and then SSMIS). The resolution of the satellite-derived product was approximately the same as the previous operational ice forecast system (25 km). As the sea ice forecast model resolution increased over time, the need for higher horizontal resolution observational data grew. In 2013, a new Navy sea ice forecast system (Arctic Cap Nowcast/Forecast System - ACNFS) went into operations with a horizontal resolution of ~ 3.5 km at the North Pole. A method of blending ice concentration observations from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR2) along with a sea ice mask produced by the National Ice Center (NIC) has been developed, resulting in an ice concentration product with very high spatial resolution. In this study, ACNFS was initialized with this newly developed high resolution blended ice concentration product. The daily ice edge locations from model hindcast simulations were compared against independent observed ice edge locations. ACNFS initialized using the high resolution blended ice concentration data product decreased predicted ice edge location error compared to the operational system that only assimilated SSMIS data. A second evaluation assimilating the new blended sea ice concentration product into the pre-operational Navy Global Ocean Forecast System 3.1 also showed a substantial improvement in ice edge location over a system using the SSMIS sea ice concentration product alone. This paper describes the technique used to create the blended sea ice concentration product and the significant improvements in ice edge forecasting in both of the

  19. 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

  20. Early Student Support to Investigate the Role of Sea Ice-Albedo Feedback in Sea Ice Predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    Ice - Albedo Feedback in Sea Ice Predictions Cecilia M. Bitz Atmospheric Sciences MS351640 University of Washington Seattle, WA 98196-1640 phone...TERM GOALS The overarching goals of this project are to understand the role of sea ice - albedo feedback on sea ice predictability, to improve how...sea- ice albedo is modeled and how sea ice predictions are initialized, and then to evaluate how these improvements influence inherent sea ice

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Using sea-ice deformation fields to constrain the mechanical strength parameters of geophysical sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchat, Amélie; Tremblay, Bruno

    2017-07-01

    We investigate the ability of viscous-plastic (VP) sea-ice models with an elliptical yield curve and normal flow rule to reproduce the shear and divergence distributions derived from the RADARSAT Geophysical Processor System (RGPS). In particular, we reformulate the VP elliptical rheology to allow independent changes in the ice compressive, shear and isotropic tensile strength parameters (P∗, S∗, and T∗, respectively) in order to study the sensitivity of the deformation distributions to changes in the ice mechanical strength parameters. Our 10 km VP simulation with standard ice mechanical strength parameters P∗ = 27.5 kN m-2, S∗ = 6.9 kN m-2, and T∗ = 0 kN m-2 (ellipse aspect ratio of e = 2) does not reproduce the large shear and divergence deformations observed in the RGPS deformation fields, and specifically lacks well-defined, active linear kinematic features (LKFs). Probability density functions (PDFs) for the shear and divergence of are nonetheless not Gaussian. Reducing the ice compressive strength (with constant S∗ and T∗) or increasing the ice shear strength (with constant P∗ and T∗) both results in shear and divergence PDFs in better agreement with RGPS distributions. The isotropic tensile strength of sea ice does not significantly affect the shear and divergence distributions. When considering additional metrics such as the ice drift error, mean ice thickness fields, and spatial scaling of the total deformations, our results suggest that reducing the ice compressive strength P∗ (while keeping S∗ constant, i.e. reducing the ellipse aspect ratio) is a better solution than increasing the shear strength to improve simulations of the Arctic sea-ice cover with the VP elliptical rheology.

  6. Assessment of the sea-ice carbon pump

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grimm, R.; Notz, D.; Glud, Ronnie N.

    2016-01-01

    alkalinity (TA) in the surface ocean. Here we quantify the strength of the SICP-induced air-sea CO2 flux using the global three-dimensional ocean-sea-ice-biogeochemical model MPIOM/HAMOCC. Simulations prescribing the range of observed DIC and TA concentrations in the sea ice were performed under two...... idealized climate scenarios for the present-day and the future oceanic and sea-ice state, both forced with a fixed atmospheric CO2 concentration. Model results indicate that the SICP-induced air-sea CO2 uptake increases with higher ratios of TA:DIC prescribed in the sea ice relative to the basic oceanic TA......:DIC ratios. Independent of the modeled scenario, the simulated strength of the SICP is larger in the Antarctic than in the Arctic, because of more efficient export of brine-associated DIC from the Antarctic mixed layer. On an annual basis, we generally find an enhanced SICP-induced oceanic CO2 uptake...

  7. The role of mechanics and kinematics on the Arctic sea ice decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, J.

    2011-12-01

    IPCC AR4 climate models unforeseen the recent Arctic sea ice decline, either in terms of extent or thinning rate. Owing to the complexity of the Arctic basin as a physical system involving many interacting processes and feedbacks (negative or positive), several tracks are currently followed to try to improve the representation of these processes. Here we focus on the representation of sea ice mechanics and kinematics (drift, deformation). Indeed, the spectacular evolution of the Arctic sea ice cover is not restricted to the shrinking of ice extent or to thinning. Kinematics is affected as well, and its evolution plays a central role in the changes underwent nowadays in the Arctic ocean. As observed from buoy drift data, the sea ice mean speed increased at a rate of 9% per decade from 1979 to 2007, whereas the mean deformation rate increased by more than 50% per decade over the same period. These two aspects of recent sea ice evolution, i.e. strong decline and accelerated kinematics, are likely intimately coupled. Increasing deformation means stronger fracturing, hence more lead opening and a decreasing albedo. As a result, ocean warming, in turn, favors sea ice thinning in summer and delays refreezing in early winter, i.e. strengthens sea ice decline. This thinning decreases the mechanical strength, therefore allowing even more fracturing, hence larger speed and deformation. A consequence is the acceleration of sea ice export through Fram or Nares Strait with a significant impact on sea ice mass balance. The coupling between the ice state (thickness and concentration) and ice velocity is unexpectedly weak in most IPCC AR4 models. In particular, sea ice drifts faster during the months when it is thick and packed than when it is thin, contrary to what is observed; also models with larger long-term thinning trends do not show higher drift acceleration. This weak coupling behavior (i) suggests that the positive feedbacks mentioned above are underestimated, and (ii) can

  8. Temporal and spatial variability in sea-ice carbon:nitrogen ratios on Canadian Arctic shelves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Niemi

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract To enhance the accuracy of carbon cycling models as applied to sea ice in the changing Arctic, we analyzed a large data set of particulate organic carbon (POC and nitrogen (PON measurements in first-year bottom sea ice (n = 257 from two Arctic shelves, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Beaufort Sea shelf, including dark winter and spring seasonal measurements. Wide ranges of sea-ice POC:PON ratios were observed during both the dark winter (12–46 mol:mol and spring (3–24 mol:mol periods. Sea-ice POC:PON ratios and chlorophyll a concentrations were significantly higher in the Archipelago versus the Beaufort Sea shelf (p < 0.01, yet there was a highly significant relationship between sea-ice POC and PON during spring for both shelves (r2 = 0.94. POC:PON ratios were not consistent over the range of measured POC and PON concentrations, justifying the use of a power function model to best describe the relationship between POC and PON. Distinct relationships between POC:PON ratios and chlorophyll-based biomass were observed for the dark winter and the spring: dark winter sea-ice POC:PON ratios decreased with increasing sea-ice biomass whereas spring POC:PON ratios increased with increasing sea-ice biomass. The transition from the dark period to the spring growth period in first-year sea ice represented a distinct stoichiometric shift in POC:PON ratios. Our results demonstrate that the Redfield ratio has limited applicability over the four-order of magnitude range of biomass concentrations observed in first-year sea ice on Arctic shelves. This study emphasizes the need for variable POC:PON stoichiometry in sea-ice biogeochemical models and budget estimates, in particular at high biomass concentrations and when considering seasonality outside of the spring period in first year ice. The use of a power function model for POC:PON relationships in sea ice is also recommended to better constrain carbon estimates in biogeochemical sea-ice models.

  9. 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.

  10. The stabilizing effect of sea-ice on a freshwater perturbation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Mari F.; Nisancioglu, Kerim H.; Nilsson, Johan

    2015-04-01

    A retreating sea-ice cover is one of the hypothesized mechanisms for the abrupt warming observed during Dansgaard-Oeschger events of the last glacial. It has been proposed that a warming of the subsurface ocean during cold stadials could explain the rapid retreating sea-ice cover in the Nordic Seas at the start of each interstadial (Dokken et al., 2013). The warming of the subsurface ocean would gradually weaken the vertical stratification and lead to a sudden convective overturning as the vertical density difference disappeared. In this study, we show that the circulation can become unstable even before the vertical density difference vanishes. We study the stability of a salinity-dominated circulation to freshwater perturbations in the presence of sea-ice, by using a one-dimensional, analytical model. The model represents the sea-ice covered Nordic Seas, and consists of a sea-ice component and a two-layer ocean; a cold, fresh surface layer above a warm, salty deep ocean. The sea-ice thickness depends on the atmospheric energy fluxes as well as the ocean heat flux, and we impose a thickness-dependent sea-ice export. The stabilizing effect of sea-ice to a freshwater perturbation is shown to depend on the representation of vertical mixing. In a system where the mixing increases with density differences, the sea-ice acts as a positive feedback to a freshwater perturbation. If the mixing decreases with density differences, the sea-ice acts as a negative feedback. However, both representations lead to a circulation that breaks down when the freshwater input at the surface is small. As a consequence, we get rapid changes in sea-ice. In addition to low freshwater values, increasing deep-ocean temperatures promote instability and the disappearance of sea-ice. Dokken, T. M., Nisancioglu, K. H., Li, C., Battisti, D. S. and Kissel, C. (2013), `Dansgaard Oeschger cycles: interactions between ocean and sea ice intrinsic to the Nordic Seas', Paleoceanography 28

  11. 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

  12. 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....

  13. 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...... 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. The GPS measurements are compared with the Arctic tidal model AOTIM-5, which assimilates tide...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Sunlight, Sea Ice, and the Ice Albedo Feedback in a Changing Artic Sea Ice Cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-11-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. SUNLIGHT, SEA ICE , AND THE ICE ALBEDO FEEDBACK IN A...iv) onset dates of melt and freeze up. 4. Assess the magnitude of the contribution from ice - albedo feedback to the observed decrease of sea ice in... sea ice prediction and modeling community to improve the treatment of solar radiation and the ice - albedo feedback. This transfer will take the form of

  18. Novel Highly Branched Isoprenoid Biomarkers as Indicators of Sea-Ice Diatoms: Implications for Historical Sea-Ice Records and Future Predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massé, G.; Belt, S. T.; Rowland, S. J.; Poulin, M.; Sicre, M.; Michel, C.

    2006-12-01

    Polar oceans are important contributors to the Earth's climate systems. In particular, sea-ice influences the exchanges of heat and moisture between polar oceans and atmosphere, and its high albedo means that it reflects much of incoming solar radiation. In addition, when melting, the outflow of low-salinity surface water impacts on the global deep oceanic circulation, which can influence the climate to a large extent. Therefore, increasing our knowledge about how changes in past sea-ice extent contributes to our understanding of the actual changes in climate is critical if we aim to succeed in predicting future changes. Direct global estimates of sea-ice cover derived from remote sensing observations are now routine but have only been possible since the 1970's. Previously, analysis of data derived from early ship records have been carried out, providing an observed sea ice record for the 20th century and earlier. Such records have been based on archive materials including lighthouse diaries, ships logs, travellers journals and newspaper reports. However, only the most recent direct estimations of sea-ice cover are believed to be reliable and therefore, longer time scales studies are only possible using proxy data sources. In the current project, we are investigating the potential to use chemical biomarkers of sea-ice associated diatoms to serve as a proxy of sea-ice cover in the Arctic. To date, our investigations have revealed that a restricted number of diatoms biosynthesise a class of secondary metabolite chemicals termed highly branched isoprenoids (HBIs). These chemicals are ubiquitous to marine sediments, but only one structural form of the HBIs exists in Arctic sea-ice. In turn, this chemical (a C25 HBI mono-unsaturated alkene) can almost certainly be associated with some Haslea spp. which are known to occur in Arctic sea-ice. Indeed, we have identified three such species in our work and now have them in culture. In order for the HBI biomarker to be useful

  19. 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

  20. A (Mis)Match of User Needs, Science Priorities, and Funder Support: A Case Study of Arctic Sea Ice Knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    Declining Arctic sea ice, and its impacts on the Arctic and globe, is a topic of increasing attention by scientists, diverse stakeholder groups, and the media. Research on Arctic sea ice is broad and inter-disciplinary, ranging from new technologies to monitor sea ice, to process studies, to examining the impacts of declining sea ice on ecosystems and people. There remain barriers, however, in transferring scientific knowledge of sea ice to serve decision-maker needs. This poster will examine possible causes of these barriers—including issues of communications across disciplines and perspectives, professional culture, funding agency restrictions, and the state of the science—through the lens of Arctic sea ice efforts that have occurred over the past several years. The poster will draw on experiences from the Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (https://www.arcus.org/search-program/siwo), the Sea Ice Outlook (https://www.arcus.org/sipn/sea-ice-outlook), and various science planning exercises. Finally, the poster will synthesize relevant efforts in this arena and highlight opportunities for improvement.

  1. 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...

  2. ISLSCP II Global Sea Ice Concentration

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project (ISLSCP) Initiative II data set, ISLSCP II Global Sea Ice Concentration, is based on the Goddard Space...

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. ISLSCP II Global Sea Ice Concentration

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ABSTRACT: This International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project (ISLSCP) Initiative II data set is based on the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Sea Ice...

  6. 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.

  7. 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....

  8. Atmospheric forcing of sea ice anomalies in the Ross Sea Polynya region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, Ethan; McDonald, Adrian; Rack, Wolfgang

    2016-04-01

    Despite warming trends in global temperatures, sea ice extent in the southern hemisphere has shown an increasing trend over recent decades. Wind-driven sea ice export from coastal polynyas is an important source of sea ice production. Areas of major polynyas in the Ross Sea, the region with largest increase in sea ice extent, have been suggested to produce the vast amount of the sea ice in the region. We investigate the impacts of strong wind events on polynyas and the subsequent sea ice production. We utilize Bootstrap sea ice concentration (SIC) measurements derived from satellite based, Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) brightness temperature images. These are compared with surface wind measurements made by automatic weather stations of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Antarctic Meteorology Program. Our analysis focusses on the winter period defined as 1st April to 1st November in this study. Wind data was used to classify each day into characteristic regimes based on the change of wind speed. For each regime, a composite of SIC anomaly was formed for the Ross Sea region. We found that persistent weak winds near the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf are generally associated with positive SIC anomalies in the Ross Sea polynya area (RSP). Conversely we found negative SIC anomalies in this area during persistent strong winds. By analyzing sea ice motion vectors derived from SSM/I brightness temperatures, we find significant sea ice motion anomalies throughout the Ross Sea during strong wind events. These anomalies persist for several days after the strong wing event. Strong, negative correlations are found between SIC within the RSP and wind speed indicating that strong winds cause significant advection of sea ice in the RSP. This rapid decrease in SIC is followed by a more gradual recovery in SIC. This increase occurs on a time scale greater than the average persistence of strong wind events and the resulting Sea ice motion anomalies, highlighting the production

  9. Trend analysis of Arctic sea ice extent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, M. E.; Barbosa, S. M.; Antunes, Luís; Rocha, Conceição

    2009-04-01

    The extent of Arctic sea ice is a fundamental parameter of Arctic climate variability. In the context of climate change, the area covered by ice in the Arctic is a particularly useful indicator of recent changes in the Arctic environment. Climate models are in near universal agreement that Arctic sea ice extent will decline through the 21st century as a consequence of global warming and many studies predict a ice free Arctic as soon as 2012. Time series of satellite passive microwave observations allow to assess the temporal changes in the extent of Arctic sea ice. Much of the analysis of the ice extent time series, as in most climate studies from observational data, have been focussed on the computation of deterministic linear trends by ordinary least squares. However, many different processes, including deterministic, unit root and long-range dependent processes can engender trend like features in a time series. Several parametric tests have been developed, mainly in econometrics, to discriminate between stationarity (no trend), deterministic trend and stochastic trends. Here, these tests are applied in the trend analysis of the sea ice extent time series available at National Snow and Ice Data Center. The parametric stationary tests, Augmented Dickey-Fuller (ADF), Phillips-Perron (PP) and the KPSS, do not support an overall deterministic trend in the time series of Arctic sea ice extent. Therefore, alternative parametrizations such as long-range dependence should be considered for characterising long-term Arctic sea ice variability.

  10. 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

  11. The impact of vanishing Arctic sea ice on the climate of Ireland

    OpenAIRE

    Semmler, Tido

    2013-01-01

    Coupled climate models with increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and changing aerosol concentrations indicate an increase in the westerly airflow in mid-latitudes in winter as well as more extreme storms and precipitation events. However, declining Arctic sea ice may alter this projection. A sensitivity experiment run with the EC-Earth global model with Arctic sea ice removed shows a weakening of the westerly flow over Ireland. Such a change would increase the likelihood of cold contin...

  12. Climate models agree remarkably well on Arctic sea ice reductions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Jens H.; Yang, Shuting; Langen, Peter L.; Thejl, Peter; Boberg, Fredrik

    2017-04-01

    Coupled global climate models have been used to provide future climate projections as major tools based on physical laws that govern the dynamics and thermodynamics of the climate system. However, while climate models in general predict declines in Arctic sea ice cover (i.e., ice extent and volume) from late 20th century through the next decades in response to increase of anthropogenic forcing, models show wide inter-model spread in hindcast with simulated sea ice extend as low as 50% or as high as 200% of the observed present day conditions. Likewise models show a wide range in the timing of projected sea ice decline, raising the question of uncertainty in model predicted polar climate and casting doubt on the robustness of the findings based on multi-model approaches, such as provided by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). Constrained estimates of when global mean temperature pass a certain threshold leading to a new sea ice state in the Arctic with summer time open water conditions are in increasing demand both for scientific reasons, but also from policymakers and stakeholders in general. Climate models are used to pursue this, but due to model inadequacies or 'errors' mentioned above, as well as a wide spread in possible future projections, uncertainties due to model deficiencies have been seen as the main source of uncertainty in providing the demanded information with sufficient accuracy. As an effort within the ERC-Synergy project Ice2Ice, here we demonstrate that relating relative changes in sea ice area with global mean temperature change from individual models using all available information from the CMIP5 archives from historical and the RCP4.5 and RCP8.0 future scenarios, together with the observed variation from 1979-2015 shows that i) simulated and observed sea ice area cannot at the 95% level be seen as coming from different statistical populations; ii) the Arctic could as a combination of natural variability and anthropogenic

  13. 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)

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Temporal dynamics of ikaite in experimental sea ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    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 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...

  19. Laboratory measurements of high-frequency, acoustic broadband backscattering from sea ice and crude oil

    OpenAIRE

    Bassett, Christopher; Lavery, Andone C.; Maksym, Ted; Wilkinson, Jeremy P.

    2015-01-01

    Recent decreases in summer sea ice cover are spurring interest in hydrocarbon extraction and shipping in Arctic waters, increasing the risk of an oil spill in ice covered waters. With advances in unmanned vehicle operation, there is an interest in identifying techniques for remote, underwater detection of oil spills from below. High-frequency (200–565 kHz), broadband acoustic scattering data demonstrate that oil can be detected and quantified under laboratory grown sea ice and may be of use i...

  20. Effects of Mackenzie River Discharge and Bathymetry on Sea Ice in the Beaufort Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nghiem, S. V.; Hall, D. K.; Rigor, I. G; Li, P.; Neumann, G.

    2014-01-01

    Mackenzie River discharge and bathymetry effects on sea ice in the Beaufort Sea are examined in 2012 when Arctic sea ice extent hit a record low. Satellite-derived sea surface temperature revealed warmer waters closer to river mouths. By 5 July 2012, Mackenzie warm waters occupied most of an open water area about 316,000 sq km. Surface temperature in a common open water area increased by 6.5 C between 14 June and 5 July 2012, before and after the river waters broke through a recurrent landfast ice barrier formed over the shallow seafloor offshore the Mackenzie Delta. In 2012, melting by warm river waters was especially effective when the strong Beaufort Gyre fragmented sea ice into unconsolidated floes. The Mackenzie and other large rivers can transport an enormous amount of heat across immense continental watersheds into the Arctic Ocean, constituting a stark contrast to the Antarctic that has no such rivers to affect sea ice.

  1. 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

    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...... 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...

  2. Impacts of freshwater changes on Antarctic sea ice in an eddy-permitting sea-ice–ocean model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Haid

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In a warming climate, satellite data indicate that the sea ice extent around Antarctica has increased over the last decades. One of the suggested explanations is the stabilizing effect of increased mass loss of the Antarctic ice sheet. Here, we investigate the sea ice response to changes in both the amount and the spatial distribution of freshwater input to the ocean by comparing a set of numerical sensitivity simulations with additional supply of water at the Antarctic ocean surface. We analyze the short-term response of the sea ice cover and the on-shelf water column to variations in the amount and distribution of the prescribed surface freshwater flux.Our results confirm that enhancing the freshwater input can increase the sea ice extent. Our experiments show a negative development of the sea ice extent only for extreme freshwater additions. We find that the spatial distribution of freshwater is of great influence on sea ice concentration and thickness as it affects sea ice dynamics and thermodynamics. For strong regional contrasts in the freshwater addition the dynamic response dominates the local change in sea ice, which generally opposes the thermodynamic response. Furthermore, we find that additional coastal runoff generally leads to fresher and warmer dense shelf waters.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. The Last Arctic Sea Ice Refuge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfirman, S. L.; Tremblay, B.; Newton, R.; Fowler, C.

    2010-12-01

    Summer sea ice may persist along the northern flank of Canada and Greenland for decades longer than the rest of the Arctic, raising the possibility of a naturally formed refugium for ice-associated species. Observations and models indicate that some ice in this region forms locally, while some is transported to the area by winds and ocean currents. Depending on future changes in melt patterns and sea ice transport rates, both the central Arctic and Siberian shelf seas may be sources of ice to the region. An international system of monitoring and management of the sea ice refuge, along with the ice source regions, has the potential to maintain viable habitat for ice-associated species, including polar bears, for decades into the future. Issues to consider in developing a strategy include: + the likely duration and extent of summer sea ice in this region based on observations, models and paleoenvironmental information + the extent and characteristics of the “ice shed” contributing sea ice to the refuge, including its dynamics, physical and biological characteristics as well as potential for contamination from local or long-range sources + likely assemblages of ice-associated species and their habitats + potential stressors such as transportation, tourism, resource extraction, contamination + policy, governance, and development issues including management strategies that could maintain the viability of the refuge.

  6. Linking scales in sea ice mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Jérôme; Dansereau, Véronique

    2017-02-01

    Mechanics plays a key role in the evolution of the sea ice cover through its control on drift, on momentum and thermal energy exchanges between the polar oceans and the atmosphere along cracks and faults, and on ice thickness distribution through opening and ridging processes. At the local scale, a significant variability of the mechanical strength is associated with the microstructural heterogeneity of saline ice, however characterized by a small correlation length, below the ice thickness scale. Conversely, the sea ice mechanical fields (velocity, strain and stress) are characterized by long-ranged (more than 1000 km) and long-lasting (approx. few months) correlations. The associated space and time scaling laws are the signature of the brittle character of sea ice mechanics, with deformation resulting from a multi-scale accumulation of episodic fracturing and faulting events. To translate the short-range-correlated disorder on strength into long-range-correlated mechanical fields, several key ingredients are identified: long-ranged elastic interactions, slow driving conditions, a slow viscous-like relaxation of elastic stresses and a restoring/healing mechanism. These ingredients constrained the development of a new continuum mechanics modelling framework for the sea ice cover, called Maxwell-elasto-brittle. Idealized simulations without advection demonstrate that this rheological framework reproduces the main characteristics of sea ice mechanics, including anisotropy, spatial localization and intermittency, as well as the associated scaling laws. This article is part of the themed issue 'Microdynamics of ice'.

  7. Potential Arctic sea ice refuge for sustaining a remnant polar bear population (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, G. M.; Amstrup, S. C.; Douglas, D. C.; Gautier, D. L.

    2010-12-01

    Polar bears depend on sea ice as a platform from which they capture seals. Sea ice availability must be spatially and temporally adequate for birth and weaning of seal pups, and to maximize seal hunting opportunities for polar bears. Projected declines in the spatial and temporal extent of summer and autumn sea ice could potentially limit the ability of polar bears to build up body stores sufficient to maintain reproductive fitness. General circulation models, however, suggest that summer and autumn sea ice may persist in the shelf waters of the Canadian Archipelago and northern Greenland adjacent to the Arctic basin. While winter-formed ice is important, a primary mechanism for sea ice accumulation in this region is by mechanical thickening of the sea ice facilitated by convergent forces from the Beaufort Gyre and the Transpolar Drift Stream. Collectively these areas could provide a polar bear refugium when other regions have lost the sea ice necessary to support viable populations. The potential for a polar bear refugium, however, must include other resource considerations. Projected declines of sea ice in the Northwest Passage may expose polar bears to hazards related to increase shipping and other commerce. Increasing global demands and limited opportunities elsewhere make the Arctic an increasingly attractive area for petroleum exploration. The Canadian Archipelago coincides with the Sverdrup basin, where petroleum accumulations have already been discovered but as yet are undeveloped. The Lincoln Sea Basin offshore of northern Greenland has the geological possibility of significant petroleum accumulations, and northeastern Greenland is one of the most prospective areas in the Arctic for undiscovered oil. Activities associated with commerce and petroleum development could reduce the potential viability of the region as a polar bear refugium. Hence, if the goal is a sustainable (albeit reduced) polar bear population, important considerations include commerce

  8. Antarctic Sea Ice Variability and Trends, 1979-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, C. L.; Cavalieri, D. J.

    2012-01-01

    In sharp contrast to the decreasing sea ice coverage of the Arctic, in the Antarctic the sea ice cover has, on average, expanded since the late 1970s. More specifically, satellite passive-microwave data for the period November 1978 - December 2010 reveal an overall positive trend in ice extents of 17,100 +/- 2,300 square km/yr. Much of the increase, at 13,700 +/- 1,500 square km/yr, has occurred in the region of the Ross Sea, with lesser contributions from the Weddell Sea and Indian Ocean. One region, that of the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas, has, like the Arctic, instead experienced significant sea ice decreases, with an overall ice extent trend of -8,200 +/- 1,200 square km/yr. When examined through the annual cycle over the 32-year period 1979-2010, the Southern Hemisphere sea ice cover as a whole experienced positive ice extent trends in every month, ranging in magnitude from a low of 9,100 +/- 6,300 square km/yr in February to a high of 24,700 +/- 10,000 square km/yr in May. The Ross Sea and Indian Ocean also had positive trends in each month, while the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas had negative trends in each month, and the Weddell Sea and Western Pacific Ocean had a mixture of positive and negative trends. Comparing ice-area results to ice-extent results, in each case the ice-area trend has the same sign as the ice-extent trend, but differences in the magnitudes of the two trends identify regions with overall increasing ice concentrations and others with overall decreasing ice concentrations. The strong pattern of decreasing ice coverage in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas region and increasing ice coverage in the Ross Sea region is suggestive of changes in atmospheric circulation. This is a key topic for future research.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Recent State of Arctic Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nghiem, S. V.; Rigor, I. G.; Clemente-Colón, P.; Perovich, D. K.; Richter-Menge, J. A.; Chao, Y.; Neumann, G.; Ortmeyer, M.

    2008-12-01

    We present the recent state of Arctic sea ice including observations from 2008 in a context of a multi-decadal perspective. A new record has been set in the reduction of Arctic perennial sea ice extent this winter. As of 1 March 2008, the extent of perennial sea ice was reduced by one million km2 compared to that at the same time last year as observed by the NASA SeaWinds scatterometer on the QuikSCAT satellite (QSCAT). This decrease of perennial ice continues the precipitous declining trend observed in this decade. Furthermore, the perennial sea ice pattern change was deduced by buoy-based estimates with 50 years of data from drifting buoys and measurement camps to track sea ice movement around the Arctic Ocean. The combination of the satellite and surface data records confirms that the reduction of winter perennial ice extent broke the record in 2008 compared to data over the last half century. In the winter, the loss of perennial ice extent was driven by winds that compressed the ice and transported it out of the Fram Strait and Nares Strait to warmer ocean waters at lower latitudes, where the ice melted very effectively. Another historical fact is that the boundary of perennial sea ice already crossed the North Pole (NP) in February 2008, leaving the area around the NP occupied by seasonal sea ice. This is the first time, not only from the satellite data record but also in the history of sea ice charting at the National Ice Center since the 1970's, that observations indicate the seasonal ice migration into the NP area so early in winter. In the Bering Sea by 12 March 2008, the sea ice edge reached to an extent that coincided with the continental shelf break, indicating bathymetric effects on the distribution of water masses along the Aleutian North Slope, Bering Slope, Anadyr, and Kamchatka Currents that governed the pattern of sea ice formation in this region. Moreover, QSCAT observations showed that, in the 2008 winter, seasonal ice occupied the Northern Sea

  16. 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.

  17. Peopling of the high Arctic - induced by sea ice?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funder, Svend

    2010-05-01

    blocked its landing). Our record shows that a period with less sea ice than now ended shortly after 6 kaBP. When the Independence I people (4450-3850 kaBP) came into the area, the sea ice conditions may have been similar to the present with land-fast ice for a good part of the year. The annual insolation was 2-3% higher than now, but the vegetation, especially in coastal areas, had deteriorated to Polar desert, as at present. This development continued, and when the second wave of immigrants came, The Independence II people (2900-2300 kaBP), both sea-ice conditions and insolation were similar to the present. Finally, when the last group of immigrants, the Thule people (AD1400-1500), reached the area had year-round land-fast ice. These results show that there is no clear correlation between climate change and human migration into Greenland, but it may have been the increase in sea ice after 6 kaBP that paved the ground for the peopling of high Arctic Canada and Greenland. The three North Greenland immigration-waves took place in a 'deteriorating' (cooling) climate, and evidence from lake sediments and ice coring show that the immigrants met an environment that was similar to today's - or even more harsh.

  18. 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°.

  19. Atmospheric influences on the anomalous 2016 Antarctic sea ice decay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlosser, Elisabeth; Haumann, F. Alexander; Raphael, Marilyn N.

    2018-03-01

    In contrast to the Arctic, where total sea ice extent (SIE) has been decreasing for the last three decades, Antarctic SIE has shown a small, but significant, increase during the same time period. However, in 2016, an unusually early onset of the melt season was observed; the maximum Antarctic SIE was already reached as early as August rather than the end of September, and was followed by a rapid decrease. The decay was particularly strong in November, when Antarctic SIE exhibited a negative anomaly (compared to the 1979-2015 average) of approximately 2 million km2. ECMWF Interim reanalysis data showed that the early onset of the melt and the rapid decrease in sea ice area (SIA) and SIE were associated with atmospheric flow patterns related to a positive zonal wave number three (ZW3) index, i.e., synoptic situations leading to strong meridional flow and anomalously strong southward heat advection in the regions of strongest sea ice decline. A persistently positive ZW3 index from May to August suggests that SIE decrease was preconditioned by SIA decrease. In particular, in the first third of November northerly flow conditions in the Weddell Sea and the Western Pacific triggered accelerated sea ice decay, which was continued in the following weeks due to positive feedback effects, leading to the unusually low November SIE. In 2016, the monthly mean Southern Annular Mode (SAM) index reached its second lowest November value since the beginning of the satellite observations. A better spatial and temporal coverage of reliable ice thickness data is needed to assess the change in ice mass rather than ice area.

  20. On producing sea ice deformation data sets from SAR-derived sea ice motion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Bouillon

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available We propose a method to reduce the error generated when computing sea ice deformation fields from synthetic aperture radar (SAR-derived sea ice motion. The method is based on two steps. The first step consists of using a triangulation of the positions taken from the sea ice trajectories to define a mesh on which a first estimate of sea ice deformation is computed. The second step consists of applying a specific smoother to the deformation field to reduce the artificial noise that arises along discontinuities in the sea ice motion field. This method is here applied to RADARSAT Geophysical Processor System (RGPS sea ice trajectories having a temporal and spatial resolution of about 3 days and 10 km, respectively. From the comparison between unfiltered and filtered fields, we estimate that the artificial noise causes an overestimation of about 60% of opening and closing. The artificial noise also has a strong impact on the statistical distribution of the deformation and on the scaling exponents estimated with multifractal analysis. We also show that a similar noise is present in the deformation fields provided in the widely used four-point deformation RGPS data set. These findings may have serious implications for previous studies as the constant overestimation of the opening and closing could lead to a large overestimation of freezing in leads, salt rejection and sea ice ridging.

  1. 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.

  2. Ocean-atmosphere state dependence of the atmospheric response to Arctic sea ice loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborne, Joe; Screen, James; Collins, Mat

    2017-04-01

    The Arctic is warming faster than the global average. This disproportionate warming - known as Arctic amplification - has caused significant local changes to the Arctic system and more uncertain remote changes across the Northern Hemisphere midlatitudes. Here, an atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) is used to test the sensitivity of the atmospheric and surface response to Arctic sea ice loss to the phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), which varies on (multi-) decadal time scales. Four experiments are performed, combining low and high sea ice states with global sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies associated with opposite phases of the AMO. A trough-ridge-trough response to wintertime sea ice loss is seen in the Pacific-North American sector in the negative phase of the AMO. We propose that this is a consequence of an increased meridional temperature gradient in response to sea ice loss, just south of the climatological maximum, in the midlatitudes of the central North Pacific. This causes a southward shift in the North Pacific storm track, which strengthens the Aleutian low with circulation anomalies propagating into North America. While the climate response to sea ice loss is sensitive to AMO-related SST anomalies in the North Pacific, there is little sensitivity to larger-magnitude SST anomalies in the North Atlantic. With background ocean-atmosphere states persisting for a number of years, there is the potential to improve predictions of the impacts of Arctic sea ice loss on decadal time scales.

  3. Seasonal Study of Mercury Species in the Antarctic Sea Ice Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nerentorp Mastromonaco, Michelle G; Gårdfeldt, Katarina; Langer, Sarka; Dommergue, Aurélien

    2016-12-06

    Limited studies have been conducted on mercury concentrations in the polar cryosphere and the factors affecting the distribution of mercury within sea ice and snow are poorly understood. Here we present the first comprehensive seasonal study of elemental and total mercury concentrations in the Antarctic sea ice environment covering data from measurements in air, sea ice, seawater, snow, frost flowers, and brine. The average concentration of total mercury in sea ice decreased from winter (9.7 ng L -1 ) to spring (4.7 ng L -1 ) while the average elemental mercury concentration increased from winter (0.07 ng L -1 ) to summer (0.105 ng L -1 ). The opposite trends suggest potential photo- or dark oxidation/reduction processes within the ice and an eventual loss of mercury via brine drainage or gas evasion of elemental mercury. Our results indicate a seasonal variation of mercury species in the polar sea ice environment probably due to varying factors such as solar radiation, temperature, brine volume, and atmospheric deposition. This study shows that the sea ice environment is a significant interphase between the polar ocean and the atmosphere and should be accounted for when studying how climate change may affect the mercury cycle in polar regions.

  4. Inorganic carbon dynamics of melt pond-covered first year sea ice in the Canadian Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geilfus, Nicolas-Xavier; Galley, R.J.; Crabeck, O.

    2014-01-01

    Melt pond formation is a common feature of the spring and summer Arctic sea ice. However, the role of the melt ponds formation and the impact of the sea ice melt on both the direction and size of CO2 flux between air and sea is still unknown. Here we describe the CO2-carbonate chemistry of melting...... a strong decrease of the total alkalinity (TA), total dissolved inorganic carbon (TCO2) and partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) within the bulk sea ice and the brine. Later on, melt pond formation affects both the bulk sea ice and the brine system. As melt ponds are formed from melted snow the in situ melt pond...... sea ice, melt ponds and the underlying seawater associated with measurement of CO2 fluxes across first year landfast sea ice in the Resolute Passage, Nunavut, in June 2012. Early in the melt season, the increase of the ice temperature and the subsequent decrease of the bulk ice salinity promote...

  5. 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...

  6. Impacts of an Intense Arctic Storm in August 2016 on Sea Ice Decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, L.; Kim, J. H.; Zhang, X.; Cho, K. H.; Kim, B. M.; Park, S. J.; Xie, Z.; Wang, Z.

    2017-12-01

    Climate analysis has suggested an intensification of Arctic storm activities. Unusually intense storms have also been more frequently observed during recent decade, which have occurred in many times preceding extreme sea ice loss or surface warming events, and may suggest their important contributing role in rapid Arctic climate changes. However, the underlying physical processes and mechanisms have not been well investigated and understood. In this study, we examined how the storm impacts the state of and changes in sea ice and upper ocean by employing the in-situ observations onboard the icebreaking R/V Araon, which just exactly captured a long-lived, intense storm in August 2016. The results show that associated with this storm, a cold air advection occurred at the observational site, leading to a net sea ice surface cooling. However, the storm dynamically enhanced upper ocean mixing and induced an upwelling of Pacific-origin warm water due to the Ekman pumping effects. The changed ocean dynamics result in a noted upper ocean warming and, in turn, an increase in ocean-to-sea ice heat flux, larger than the net heat loss from the sea ice surface. As a consequence, sea ice decline accelerated.

  7. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, D.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

  9. 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.

  10. Ocean Color Reveals Multi-scale Responses of Phytoplankton to Changing Sea Ice and Ocean Temperatures along the Western Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kavanaugh, M.; Schofield, O.; Ducklow, H. W.; Doney, S. C.

    2016-02-01

    The western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is experiencing dramatic climate change as maritime conditions expand poleward and interact with regional physics and local topography. In situ observations collected by the Palmer LTER project have provided three decades of insight regarding changes in phytoplankton abundance and community structure seasonally at Palmer station, and spatially during annual cruises across the WAP shelf. Despite the challenges with cloud cover and high latitude retrieval, satellite-based phytoplankton observations have extended inference from in situ observations and have improved our understanding of ecological pattern and process in this region. Multi-sensor satellite analyses were conducted to extend in situ observations and determine the multi-scale response of phytoplankton to changes in sea-ice and temperature. At local scales, enhanced phytoplankton standing stock and diatom dominance were evident at canyons, which act as conduits or reservoirs for warm, nutrient rich Upper Circumpolar Deep Water. However, this positive effect was absent during low ice years. At regional scales, sea-ice declines and warming temperatures were evident over the modern satellite era (since 1997) and were consistent with cross-shelf and latitudinal gradients in phytoplankton responses. Shifts towards smaller size classes were evident across the entire shelf, suggesting a decline in export potential. Phytoplankton abundance in the northern WAP decreased over time, and increased in the southern WAP, although the spatial extent of positive response appears to have retreated in the past decade. Thus, while positive responses to sea-ice loss are evident at both local and regional scales, their capacity to offset climate trends appear to be diminishing.

  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. Observations of brine plumes below melting Arctic sea ice

    OpenAIRE

    Peterson, Algot K.

    2018-01-01

    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 obse...

  13. Observations of brine plumes below Arctic sea ice

    OpenAIRE

    Peterson, Algot Kristoffer

    2017-01-01

    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 anti-correlated heat and salt fluxes. From the observations, 131 salty plumes descending from the warm sea ice are identified, confirming previous observations...

  14. Forecasting Future Sea Ice Conditions: A Lagrangian Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    the sea-ice extent minimum) is complete. These include, multi-year ice advective flux away from coastlines in winter, Bering Strait heat inflow and...anomalous sea ice extent and position of the MIZ as thermodynamic effect. Results also show a strong correlation (r = 0.8) between the Bering Strait ...melting via radiative/turbulent losses. We define dynamic loss as summer sea ice extent loss via sea ice export through Fram Strait (mainly) or sea

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. An Innovative Network to Improve Sea Ice Prediction in a Changing Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    Sea Ice - Albedo Feedback in Sea Ice Predictions is also about understanding sea ice predictability. REFERENCES Wang, W., M. Chen, and A...1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. An Innovative Network to Improve Sea Ice Prediction in a...this project is to understand sea ice predictability and improve sea ice predictions system by defining key observations, improve technical

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Sunlight, Sea Ice, and the Ice Albedo Feedback in a Changing Arctic Sea Ice Cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    Figure 1). When the ice is snow covered there is little difference in albedo and partitioning between first year and multiyear ice. Once the snow melts...1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Sunlight, Sea Ice, and the Ice Albedo Feedback in a...and iv) onset dates of melt and freeze up. 4. Assess the magnitude of the contribution from ice- albedo feedback to the observed decrease of sea ice

  1. 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

  2. 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 (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 column over the next centuries.

  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. 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.

  5. 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 (<1000 m 2 ), while 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Loss of Arctic sea ice causing punctuated change in sightings of killer whales (Orcinus orca) over the past century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higdon, Jeff W; Ferguson, Steven H

    2009-07-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are major predators that may reshape marine ecosystems via top-down forcing. Climate change models predict major reductions in sea ice with the subsequent expectation for readjustments of species' distribution and abundance. Here, we measure changes in killer whale distribution in the Hudson Bay region with decreasing sea ice as an example of global readjustments occurring with climate change. We summarize records of killer whales in Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, and Foxe Basin in the eastern Canadian Arctic and relate them to an historical sea ice data set while accounting for spatial and temporal autocorrelation in the data. We find evidence for "choke points," where sea ice inhibits killer whale movement, thereby creating restrictions to their Arctic distribution. We hypothesize that a threshold exists in seasonal sea ice concentration within these choke points that results in pulses in advancements in distribution of an ice-avoiding predator. Hudson Strait appears to have been a significant sea ice choke point that opened up .approximately 50 years ago allowing for an initial punctuated appearance of killer whales followed by a gradual advancing distribution within the entire Hudson Bay region. Killer whale sightings have increased exponentially and are now reported in the Hudson Bay region every summer. We predict that other choke points will soon open up with continued sea ice melt producing punctuated predator-prey trophic cascades across the Arctic.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Climate implications of changing Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Gifford H.; Geirsdottir, Áslaug; Koerner, Roy M.

    Straddling the mid-Atlantic ridge, Iceland may be best known to the world for its fiery volcanic history, violent earthquakes, and massive jökulhlaups—episodic outbursts of sub-glacial lakes melted by underlying magma. But this poem, written by Matthias Jochumsson in 1888 and titled simply “The Sea Ice” [Jochumsson, 1915] illustrates why the most insidious disruption to the Icelandic people is the havoc wrought by the quiet approach of sea ice. No other natural disaster has brought such cruelty famine, and death. From Jochumsson: “Where is the ocean, where is the bright, free, silvery ocean?… When you [sea ice] appear, the nation and its history are extinguished; then is death, and deep, dark night…”

  14. Intercomparison of the Arctic sea ice cover in global ocean-sea ice reanalyses from the ORA-IP project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevallier, Matthieu; Smith, Gregory C.; Dupont, Frédéric; Lemieux, Jean-François; Forget, Gael; Fujii, Yosuke; Hernandez, Fabrice; Msadek, Rym; Peterson, K. Andrew; Storto, Andrea; Toyoda, Takahiro; Valdivieso, Maria; Vernieres, Guillaume; Zuo, Hao; Balmaseda, Magdalena; Chang, You-Soon; Ferry, Nicolas; Garric, Gilles; Haines, Keith; Keeley, Sarah; Kovach, Robin M.; Kuragano, Tsurane; Masina, Simona; Tang, Yongming; Tsujino, Hiroyuki; Wang, Xiaochun

    2017-08-01

    Ocean-sea ice reanalyses are crucial for assessing the variability and recent trends in the Arctic sea ice cover. This is especially true for sea ice volume, as long-term and large scale sea ice thickness observations are inexistent. Results from the Ocean ReAnalyses Intercomparison Project (ORA-IP) are presented, with a focus on Arctic sea ice fields reconstructed by state-of-the-art global ocean reanalyses. Differences between the various reanalyses are explored in terms of the effects of data assimilation, model physics and atmospheric forcing on properties of the sea ice cover, including concentration, thickness, velocity and snow. Amongst the 14 reanalyses studied here, 9 assimilate sea ice concentration, and none assimilate sea ice thickness data. The comparison reveals an overall agreement in the reconstructed concentration fields, mainly because of the constraints in surface temperature imposed by direct assimilation of ocean observations, prescribed or assimilated atmospheric forcing and assimilation of sea ice concentration. However, some spread still exists amongst the reanalyses, due to a variety of factors. In particular, a large spread in sea ice thickness is found within the ensemble of reanalyses, partially caused by the biases inherited from their sea ice model components. Biases are also affected by the assimilation of sea ice concentration and the treatment of sea ice thickness in the data assimilation process. An important outcome of this study is that the spatial distribution of ice volume varies widely between products, with no reanalysis standing out as clearly superior as compared to altimetry estimates. The ice thickness from systems without assimilation of sea ice concentration is not worse than that from systems constrained with sea ice observations. An evaluation of the sea ice velocity fields reveals that ice drifts too fast in most systems. As an ensemble, the ORA-IP reanalyses capture trends in Arctic sea ice area and extent

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:29360849

  19. 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

  20. 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 < 1 m) agree better with field 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.

  1. 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

  2. Arctic Sea Ice Decline: Observations, Projections, Mechanisms, and Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeWeaver, Eric T.; Bitz, Cecilia M.; Tremblay, L.-Bruno

    This volume addresses the rapid decline of Arctic sea ice, placing recent sea ice decline in the context of past observations, climate model simulations and projections, and simple models of the climate sensitivity of sea ice. Highlights of the work presented here include • An appraisal of the role played by wind forcing in driving the decline; • A reconstruction of Arctic sea ice conditions prior to human observations, based on proxy data from sediments; • A modeling approach for assessing the impact of sea ice decline on polar bears, used as input to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act; • Contrasting studies on the existence of a "tipping point," beyond which Arctic sea ice decline will become (or has already become) irreversible, including an examination of the role of the small ice cap instability in global warming simulations; • A significant summertime atmospheric response to sea ice reduction in an atmospheric general circulation model, suggesting a positive feedback and the potential for short-term climate prediction. The book will be of interest to researchers attempting to understand the recent behavior of Arctic sea ice, model projections of future sea ice loss, and the consequences of sea ice loss for the natural and human systems of the Arctic.

  3. Iron in sea ice: Review and new insights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Lannuzel

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The discovery that melting sea ice can fertilize iron (Fe-depleted polar waters has recently fostered trace metal research efforts in sea ice. The aim of this review is to summarize and synthesize the current understanding of Fe biogeochemistry in sea ice. To do so, we compiled available data on particulate, dissolved, and total dissolvable Fe (PFe, DFe and TDFe, respectively from sea-ice studies from both polar regions and from sub-Arctic and northern Hemisphere temperate areas. Data analysis focused on a circum-Antarctic Fe dataset derived from 61 ice cores collected during 10 field expeditions carried out between 1997 and 2012 in the Southern Ocean. Our key findings are that 1 concentrations of all forms of Fe (PFe, DFe, TDFe are at least a magnitude larger in fast ice and pack ice than in typical Antarctic surface waters; 2 DFe, PFe and TDFe behave differently when plotted against sea-ice salinity, suggesting that their distributions in sea ice are driven by distinct, spatially and temporally decoupled processes; 3 DFe is actively extracted from seawater into growing sea ice; 4 fast ice generally has more Fe-bearing particles, a finding supported by the significant negative correlation observed between both PFe and TDFe concentrations in sea ice and water depth; 5 the Fe pool in sea ice is coupled to biota, as indicated by the positive correlations of PFe and TDFe with chlorophyll a and particulate organic carbon; and 6 the vast majority of DFe appears to be adsorbed onto something in sea ice. This review also addresses the role of sea ice as a reservoir of Fe and its role in seeding seasonally ice-covered waters. We discuss the pivotal role of organic ligands in controlling DFe concentrations in sea ice and highlight the uncertainties that remain regarding the mechanisms of Fe incorporation in sea ice.

  4. 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.

  5. 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......We report first direct measurements of the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) within Antarctic pack sea ice brines and related CO2 fluxes across the air-ice interface. From late winter to summer, brines encased in the ice change from a CO2 large oversaturation, relative to the atmosphere, to a marked...... 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-16

    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 CH 4  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.

  7. Systematic analysis of Arctic sea ice response to the passage of synoptic-scale cyclones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiber, E. A. P.; Serreze, M. C.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic sea ice extent has been trending downward over the period of satellite observations, particularly in the late summer and early autumn. Questions remain regarding how much of this trend is driven by anthropogenic greenhouse warming versus natural variability. In recognition, past studies have examined dynamic and thermodynamic sea ice responses to atmospheric circulation patterns. In free-drift (summer) conditions, sea ice under cyclonic winds is expected to diverge, decreasing the ice concentration and increasing ice extent. Summer cyclonic patterns over the Arctic Ocean also tend to be fairly cold, limiting melt. However, the trend towards a smaller, weaker ice pack suggests possible changes in the sea ice response. For example, the record low extent in September 2012 followed an intense August cyclone that likely enhanced ice loss, and the second lowest extent on record in September 2016 was preceded by a strongly cyclonic summer. Here, we systematically investigate the response of sea ice extent and concentration to the passage of cyclonic storms. Passive microwave data from AMSR-2 is used in conjunction with a cyclone-tracking algorithm applied to data from the ERA-Interim atmospheric reanalysis. We analyze different seasons and sectors of the Arctic to capture the variability in ice response within cyclone domains.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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......-swath synthetic aperture radar (SAR) scenes. The analysis is confined to the high-concentration Arctic sea ice, where the ice cover is near 100%. During winter the results indicate that the variability of the SSM/I concentration estimates is larger than the true variability of ice concentration. Results from...... a trusted subset of the SAR scenes across the central Arctic allow the separation of the ice concentration uncertainty due to emissivity variations and sensor noise from other error sources during the winter of 2003-2004. Depending on the algorithm, error standard deviations from 2.5 to 5.0% are found...

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. M. Lieblappen

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Changing Arctic ecosystems: sea ice decline, permafrost thaw, and benefits for geese

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Paul; Whalen, Mary; Pearce, John M.

    2014-01-01

    Through the Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) strives to inform resource management decisions for Arctic Alaska by providing scientific information on current and future ecosystem response to a warming climate. A key area for the USGS CAE initiative has been the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska. This region has experienced a warming trend over the past 30 years, leading to reductions in sea ice and thawing of permafrost. Loss of sea ice has increased ocean wave action, leading to erosion and salt water inundation of coastal habitats. Saltwater tolerant plants are now thriving in these areas and this appears to be a positive outcome for geese in the Arctic. This finding is contrary to the deleterious effects that declining sea ice is having on habitats of ice-dependent animals, such as polar bear and walrus.

  19. Shape-Constrained Segmentation Approach for Arctic Multiyear Sea Ice Floe Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarabalka, Yuliya; Brucker, Ludovic; Ivanoff, Alvaro; Tilton, James C.

    2013-01-01

    The melting of sea ice is correlated to increases in sea surface temperature and associated climatic changes. Therefore, it is important to investigate how rapidly sea ice floes melt. For this purpose, a new Tempo Seg method for multi temporal segmentation of multi year ice floes is proposed. The microwave radiometer is used to track the position of an ice floe. Then,a time series of MODIS images are created with the ice floe in the image center. A Tempo Seg method is performed to segment these images into two regions: Floe and Background.First, morphological feature extraction is applied. Then, the central image pixel is marked as Floe, and shape-constrained best merge region growing is performed. The resulting tworegionmap is post-filtered by applying morphological operators.We have successfully tested our method on a set of MODIS images and estimated the area of a sea ice floe as afunction of time.

  20. 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.

  1. Online Sea Ice Knowledge and Data Platform: www.seaiceportal.de

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treffeisen, R. E.; Nicolaus, M.; Bartsch, A.; Fritzsch, B.; Grosfeld, K.; Haas, C.; Hendricks, S.; Heygster, G.; Hiller, W.; Krumpen, T.; Melsheimer, C.; Nicolaus, A.; Ricker, R.; Weigelt, M.

    2016-12-01

    There is an increasing public interest in sea ice information from both Polar Regions, which requires up-to-date background information and data sets at different levels for various target groups. In order to serve this interest and need, seaiceportal.de (originally: meereisportal.de) was developed as a comprehensive German knowledge platform on sea ice and its snow cover in the Arctic and Antarctic. It was launched in April 2013. Since then, the content and selection of data sets increased and the data portal received increasing attention, also from the international science community. Meanwhile, we are providing near-real time and archived data of many key parameters of sea ice and its snow cover. The data sets result from measurements acquired by various platforms as well as numerical simulations. Satellite observations (e.g., AMSR2, CryoSat-2 and SMOS) of sea ice concentration, freeboard, thickness and drift are available as gridded data sets. Sea ice and snow temperatures and thickness as well as atmospheric parameters are available from autonomous ice-tethered platforms (buoys). Additional ship observations, ice station measurements, and mooring time series are compiled as data collections over the last decade. In parallel, we are continuously extending our meta-data and uncertainty information for all data sets. In addition to the data portal, seaiceportal.de provides general comprehensive background information on sea ice and snow as well as expert statements on recent observations and developments. This content is mostly in German in order to complement the various existing international sites for the German speaking public. We will present the portal, its content and function, but we are also asking for direct user feedback and are open for potential new partners.

  2. Polarimetric Signatures of Sea Ice. Part 1; Theoretical Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nghiem, S. V.; Kwok, R.; Yueh, S. H.; Drinkwater, M. R.

    1995-01-01

    Physical, structural, and electromagnetic properties and interrelating processes in sea ice are used to develop a composite model for polarimetric backscattering signatures of sea ice. Physical properties of sea ice constituents such as ice, brine, air, and salt are presented in terms of their effects on electromagnetic wave interactions. Sea ice structure and geometry of scatterers are related to wave propagation, attenuation, and scattering. Temperature and salinity, which are determining factors for the thermodynamic phase distribution in sea ice, are consistently used to derive both effective permittivities and polarimetric scattering coefficients. Polarimetric signatures of sea ice depend on crystal sizes and brine volumes, which are affected by ice growth rates. Desalination by brine expulsion, drainage, or other mechanisms modifies wave penetration and scattering. Sea ice signatures are further complicated by surface conditions such as rough interfaces, hummocks, snow cover, brine skim, or slush layer. Based on the same set of geophysical parameters characterizing sea ice, a composite model is developed to calculate effective permittivities and backscattering covariance matrices at microwave frequencies for interpretation of sea ice polarimetric signatures.

  3. Polarimetric signatures of sea ice. 1: Theoretical model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nghiem, S. V.; Kwok, R.; Yueh, S. H.; Drinkwater, M. R.

    1995-01-01

    Physical, structral, and electromagnetic properties and interrelating processes in sea ice are used to develop a composite model for polarimetric backscattering signatures of sea ice. Physical properties of sea ice constituents such as ice, brine, air, and salt are presented in terms of their effects on electromagnetic wave interactions. Sea ice structure and geometry of scatterers are related to wave propagation, attenuation, and scattering. Temperature and salinity, which are determining factors for the thermodynamic phase distribution in sea ice, are consistently used to derive both effective permittivities and polarimetric scattering coefficients. Polarmetric signatures of sea ice depend on crystal sizes and brine volumes, which are affected by ice growth rates. Desalination by brine expulsion, drainage, or other mechanisms modifies wave penetration and scattering. Sea ice signatures are further complicated by surface conditions such as rough interfaces, hummocks, snow cover, brine skim, or slush layer. Based on the same set of geophysical parameters characterizing sea ice, a composite model is developed to calculate effective permittivities and backscattering covariance matrices at microwave frequencies to interpretation of sea ice polarimetric signatures.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Mingming Li; Chaofang Zhao; Yong Zhao; Zhixiong Wang; Lijian Shi

    2016-01-01

    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 ...

  5. 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

  6. Sea ice circulation around the Beaufort Gyre: The changing role of wind forcing and the sea ice state

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petty, Alek A.; Hutchings, Jennifer K.; Richter-Menge, Jacqueline A.; Tschudi, Mark A.

    2016-05-01

    Sea ice drift estimates from feature tracking of satellite passive microwave data are used to investigate seasonal trends and variability in the ice circulation around the Beaufort Gyre, over the multidecadal period 1980-2013. Our results suggest an amplified response of the Beaufort Gyre ice circulation to wind forcing, especially during the late 2000s. We find increasing anticyclonic ice drift across all seasons, with the strongest trend in autumn, associated with increased ice export out of the southern Beaufort Sea (into the Chukchi Sea). A flux gate analysis highlights consistency across a suite of drift products. Despite these seasonal anticyclonic ice drift trends, a significant anticyclonic wind trend occurs in summer only, driven, in-part, by anomalously anticyclonic winds in 2007. Across all seasons, the ice drift curl is more anticyclonic than predicted from a linear relationship to the wind curl in the 2000s, compared to the 1980s/1990s. The strength of this anticyclonic ice drift curl amplification is strongest in autumn and appears to have increased since the 1980s (up to 2010). In spring and summer, the ice drift curl amplification occurs mainly between 2007 and 2010. These results suggest nonlinear ice interaction feedbacks (e.g., a weaker, more mobile sea ice pack), enhanced atmospheric drag, and/or an increased role of the ocean. The results also show a weakening of the anticyclonic wind and ice circulation since 2010.

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Laboratory measurements of high-frequency, acoustic broadband backscattering from sea ice and crude oil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bassett, Christopher; Lavery, Andone C; Maksym, Ted; Wilkinson, Jeremy P

    2015-01-01

    Recent decreases in summer sea ice cover are spurring interest in hydrocarbon extraction and shipping in Arctic waters, increasing the risk of an oil spill in ice covered waters. With advances in unmanned vehicle operation, there is an interest in identifying techniques for remote, underwater detection of oil spills from below. High-frequency (200-565 kHz), broadband acoustic scattering data demonstrate that oil can be detected and quantified under laboratory grown sea ice and may be of use in natural settings. A simple scattering model based on the reflection coefficients from the interfaces agrees well with the data.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Mapping sea ice using reflected GNSS signals in a bistatic radar system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chew, Clara; Zuffada, Cinzia; Shah, Rashmi; Mannucci, Anthony

    2016-04-01

    Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals can be used as a kind of bistatic radar, with receivers opportunistically recording ground-reflected signals transmitted by the GNSS satellites themselves. This technique, GNSS-Reflectometry (GNSS-R), has primarily been explored using receivers flown on aircraft or balloons, or in modeling studies. Last year's launch of the TechDemoSat-1 (TDS-1) satellite represents an enormous opportunity to investigate the potential of using spaceborne GNSS receivers to sense changes in the land and ocean surface. Here, we examine the ability of reflected GNSS signals to estimate sea ice extent and sea ice age, as well as comment on the possibility of using GNSS-R to detect leads and polynyas within the ice. In particular, we quantify how the peak power of Delay Doppler Maps (DDMs) generated within the GNSS receiver responds as the satellite flies over the Polar Regions. To compute the effective peak power of each DDM, we first normalize the peak power of the DDM by the noise floor. We also correct for antenna gain, range, and incidence angle. Once these corrections are made, the effective peak power across DDMs may be used as a proxy for changes in surface permittivity and surface roughness. We compare our calculations of reflected power to existing sea ice remote sensing products such as data from the SSMI/S as well as Landsat imagery. Our analysis shows that GNSS reflections are extremely sensitive to the sea ice edge, with increases in reflected power of more than 10 dB relative to reflected power over the open ocean. As the sea ice ages, it thickens and roughens, and reflected power decreases, though it does not decrease below the power over the open ocean. Given the observed sensitivity of GNSS reflections to small features over land and the sensitivity to the sea ice edge, we hypothesize that reflection data could help map the temporal evolution of leads and polynyas.

  15. 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.

  16. Migration phenology and seasonal fidelity of an Arctic marine predator in relation to sea ice dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherry, Seth G; Derocher, Andrew E; Thiemann, Gregory W; Lunn, Nicholas J

    2013-07-01

    Understanding how seasonal environmental conditions affect the timing and distribution of synchronized animal movement patterns is a central issue in animal ecology. Migration, a behavioural adaptation to seasonal environmental fluctuations, is a fundamental part of the life history of numerous species. However, global climate change can alter the spatiotemporal distribution of resources and thus affect the seasonal movement patterns of migratory animals. We examined sea ice dynamics relative to migration patterns and seasonal geographical fidelity of an Arctic marine predator, the polar bear (Ursus maritimus). Polar bear movement patterns were quantified using satellite-linked telemetry data collected from collars deployed between 1991-1997 and 2004-2009. We showed that specific sea ice characteristics can predict the timing of seasonal polar bear migration on and off terrestrial refugia. In addition, fidelity to specific onshore regions during the ice-free period was predicted by the spatial pattern of sea ice break-up but not by the timing of break-up. The timing of migration showed a trend towards earlier arrival of polar bears on shore and later departure from land, which has been driven by climate-induced declines in the availability of sea ice. Changes to the timing of migration have resulted in polar bears spending progressively longer periods of time on land without access to sea ice and their marine mammal prey. The links between increased atmospheric temperatures, sea ice dynamics, and the migratory behaviour of an ice-dependent species emphasizes the importance of quantifying and monitoring relationships between migratory wildlife and environmental cues that may be altered by climate change. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2013 British Ecological Society.

  17. 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.

  18. The direct mechanical influence of sea ice state on ice sheet mass loss via iceberg mélange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robel, A.

    2017-12-01

    The interaction between sea ice and land ice has typically been considered as a large-scale exchange of moisture, heat and salinity through the ocean and atmosphere. However, recent observations from marine-terminating glaciers in Greenland indicate that the long-term decline of local sea ice cover has been accompanied by an increase in nearby iceberg calving and associated ice sheet mass loss. Near glacier calving fronts, sea ice binds icebergs together into an aggregate granular material known as iceberg mélange. Studies have hypothesized that mélange may suppress calving by exerting a mechanical buttressing force directly on the glacier terminus. Here, we show explicitly how sea ice thickness and concentration play a critical role in setting the material strength of mélange. To do so, we adapt a discrete element model to simulate mélange as a cohesive granular material. In these simulations, mélange laden with thick, dense, landfast sea ice can produce enough resistance to shut down calving at the terminus. When sea ice thins, mélange weakens, reducing the mechanical force of mélange on the glacier terminus, and increasing the likelihood of calving. We discuss whether longer periods of sea-ice-free conditions in winter may lead to a transition from currently slow calving, predominantly occurring in the summer, to rapid calving, occurring throughout the year. We also discuss the potential role of freshwater discharge in promoting sea ice formation in fjords, potentially strengthening mélange.

  19. 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.

  20. Arctic Sea Ice and Its Changes during the Satellite Period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, X.; Liu, Y.; Key, J. R.

    2009-12-01

    Sea ice is a very important indicator and an effective modulator of regional and global climate change. Changes in sea ice will significantly affect the complex exchanges of momentum, heat, and mass between sea and the atmosphere, along with profound socio-economic influences due to its role in transportation, fisheries, hunting, polar animal habitat. Over the last two decades of the 20th century, the Arctic underwent significant changes in sea ice as part of the accelerated global warming of that period. More accurate, consistent, and detailed ice thickness, extent, and volume data are critical for a wide range of applications including climate change detection, climate modeling, and operational applications such as shipping and hazard mitigation. Satellite data provide an unprecedented opportunity to estimate and monitor Arctic sea ice routinely with relatively high spatial and temporal resolutions. In this study, a One-dimensional Thermodynamic Ice Model (OTIM) has been developed to estimate sea ice thickness based on the surface energy balance at a thermo-equilibrium state, containing all components of the surface energy balance. The OTIM has been extensively validated against submarine Upward-Looking Sonar (ULS) measurements, meteorological station measurements, and comprehensive numerical model simulations. Overall, OTIM-estimated sea ice thickness is accurate to within about 20% error when compared to submarine ULS ice thickness measurements and Canadian meteorological station measurements for ice less than 3 m. Along with sea ice extent information from the SSM/I, the Arctic sea ice volume can be estimated for the satellite period from 1984 to 2004. The OTIM has been used with satellite data from the extended Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Polar Pathfinder (APP-x) products for the Arctic sea ice thickness, and sequentially sea ice volume estimations, and following statistical analysis of spatial and temporal distribution and trends in sea

  1. Sea ice trends and cyclone activity in the Southern Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coggins, Jack; McDonald, Adrian; Rack, Wolfgang; Dale, Ethan

    2015-04-01

    Significant trends in the extent of Southern Hemisphere sea ice have been noted over the course of the satellite record, with highly variable trends between different seasons and regions. In this presentation, we describe efforts to assess the impact of cyclones on these trends. Employing a maximum cross-correlation method, we derive Southern Ocean ice-motion vectors from daily gridded SSMI 85.5 GHz brightness temperatures. We then derive a sea ice budget from the NASA-Team 25 km square daily sea ice concentrations. The budget quantifies the total daily change in sea ice area, and includes terms representing the effects of ice advection and divergence. A residual term represents the processes of rafting, ridging, freezing and thawing. We employ a cyclone tracking algorithm developed at the University of Canterbury to determine the timing, location, size and strength of Southern Hemisphere cyclones from mean sea-level pressure fields of the ERA-Interim reanalysis. We then form composites of the of sea ice budget below the location of cyclones. Unsurprisingly, we find that clockwise atmospheric flow around Southern Hemisphere cyclones exerts a strong influence on the movement of sea ice, an effect which is visible in the advection and divergence terms. Further, we assess the climatological importance of cyclones by comparing seasons of sea ice advance for periods with varying numbers of cyclones. This analysis is performed independently for each sea ice concentration pixel, thus affording us insight into the geographical importance of storm systems. We find that Southern Hemisphere sea ice extent is highly sensitive to the presence of cyclones in the periphery of the pack in the advance season. Notably, the sensitivity is particularly high in the northern Ross Sea, an area with a marked positive trend in sea ice extent. We discuss whether trends in cyclone activity in the Southern Ocean may have contributed to sea ice extent trends in this region.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Influence of coupling on atmosphere, sea ice and ocean regional models in the Ross Sea sector, Antarctica

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jourdain, Nicolas C. [LGGE, UMR 5183, CNRS-UJF, Grenoble (France); LEGI, UMR 5519, CNRS-UJF-INPG, Grenoble (France); Mathiot, Pierre; Barnier, Bernard [LEGI, UMR 5519, CNRS-UJF-INPG, Grenoble (France); Gallee, Hubert [LGGE, UMR 5183, CNRS-UJF, Grenoble (France)

    2011-04-15

    Air-sea ice-ocean interactions in the Ross Sea sector form dense waters that feed the global thermohaline circulation. In this paper, we develop the new limited-area ocean-sea ice-atmosphere coupled model TANGO to simulate the Ross Sea sector. TANGO is built up by coupling the atmospheric limited-area model MAR to a regional configuration of the ocean-sea ice model NEMO. A method is then developed to identify the mechanisms by which local coupling affects the simulations. TANGO is shown to simulate realistic sea ice properties and atmospheric surface temperatures. These skills are mostly related to the skills of the stand alone atmospheric and oceanic models used to build TANGO. Nonetheless, air temperatures over ocean and winter sea ice thickness are found to be slightly improved in coupled simulations as compared to standard stand alone ones. Local atmosphere ocean feedbacks over the open ocean are found to significantly influence ocean temperature and salinity. In a stand alone ocean configuration, the dry and cold air produces an ocean cooling through sensible and latent heat loss. In a coupled configuration, the atmosphere is in turn moistened and warmed by the ocean; sensible and latent heat loss is therefore reduced as compared to the stand alone simulations. The atmosphere is found to be less sensitive to local feedbacks than the ocean. Effects of local feedbacks are increased in the coastal area because of the presence of sea ice. It is suggested that slow heat conduction within sea ice could amplify the feedbacks. These local feedbacks result in less sea ice production in polynyas in coupled mode, with a subsequent reduction in deep water formation. (orig.)

  6. The Multi-Sectorial Impact Of Arctic Sea Ice Loss by Jeremy Wilkinson (on behalf of the ICE-ARC Team)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, J.

    2015-12-01

    One of the most visible aspects of climate change is the dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice; both sea ice extent and thickness. The striking loss of sea-ice in recent summers reflects profound changes in the Arctic system. However these climate driven changes in sea ice are not the only pressures on the region as the increase in the demand for natural resources are providing opportunities for investment, with estimates of $100bn or more coming in to the Arctic region over the next decade. Sea ice loss is one of the drivers behind this investment. However the environmental, socio-economic, and geopolitical consequences associated with sea ice loss bring opportunities and possibilities, but also far-reaching change amidst the potential conflicts and risks for human activities right across the Arctic and the globe. To better understand the impact of sea ice loss a multi-sectorial approach is needed. This innovative multi-sector approach to sea ice loss has gained traction over recent years as it transcends disciplinary boundaries, advances knowledge of Arctic change within a regional and global context, has a sharp eye to policy-relevance, and builds strong partnerships with northern communities. Ice Climate and Economics: Arctic Research on Change (ICE-ARC) is one of these programmes. ICE-ARC involves 23 institutes from 11 European Union and Russia. We present initial results from this exciting, multi-sectorial research programme.

  7. 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.

  8. Impact of melt ponds on Arctic sea ice in the HadGEM3 global coupled climate model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, David; Rae, Jamie; Feltham, Daniel; Flocco, Daniela; Tsamados, Michel; Ridley, Jeff; Keen, Ann

    2015-04-01

    Stand-alone sea ice simulations with a physical based melt pond model reveal a strong correlation between the simulated spring pond fraction and the observed as well as simulated September sea ice extent for the period 1979 to 2014. This is explained by a positive feedback mechanism: more ponds reduce the albedo; a lower albedo causes more melting; more melting increases pond fraction. This feedback process is a potential reason for the acceleration of Arctic sea ice decrease in the last decade and the failure of many climate models (without an implicit pond model) to simulate the observed decrease. We implemented the Los Alamos sea ice model CICE 5 including our physical based melt pond model into the latest version of the Hadley Centre coupled climate model, HadGEM3. The model surface shortwave radiation scheme has been adjusted to account for pond fraction and depth. A 30-year simulation with constant present-day atmospheric C02 has been undertaken. The sensitivity of the simulated sea ice area and volume to parameters pertinent to the melt pond parameterization will be discussed and compared to those in uncoupled (forced) simulations. The analysis focuses on the impact of melt ponds on the summer melt, and asks if the strong correlation between spring pond fraction and September sea ice extent found in stand-alone simulations, can be confirmed in the coupled climate simulation.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Organic Matter Controls of Iron Incorporation in Growing Sea Ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Janssens

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available This study presents the first laboratory-controlled sea-ice growth experiment conducted under trace metal clean conditions. The role played by organic matter in the incorporation of iron (Fe into sea ice was investigated by means of laboratory ice-growth experiments using a titanium cold-finger apparatus. Experiments were also conducted to understand the role of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS in the enrichment of ammonium in sea ice. Sea ice was grown from several seawater solutions containing different quantities and qualities of particulate Fe (PFe, dissolved Fe (DFe and organic matter. Sea ice and seawater were analyzed for particulate organic carbon and nitrogen, macro-nutrients, EPS, PFe, and DFe, and particulate aluminum. The experiments showed that biogenic PFe is preferentially incorporated into sea ice compared to lithogenic PFe. Furthermore, sea ice grown from ultra-violet (UV and non-UV treated seawaters exhibits contrasting incorporation rates of organic matter and Fe. Whereas, the effects of UV-treatments were not always significant, we do find indications that the type or organic matter controls the enrichment of Fe in forming sea ice. Specifically, we come to the conclusion that the incorporation of DFe is favored by the presence of organic ligands in the source solution.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Parmentier, F.J.W.; Zhang, W.; Mi, Y.; Zhu, X.; van Huissteden, J.; Hayes, D.J.; Zhuang, Q.; Christensen, T.R.; David McGuire, A.

    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.

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Shetye, S.; Jena, B.; Mohan, R.

    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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Parmentier, Frans-Jan; Zhang, Wenxin; Mi, Yanjiao

    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 emission...

  20. 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?

  1. Predictions replaced by facts: a keystone species' behavioural responses to declining arctic sea-ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Charmain D; Lydersen, Christian; Ims, Rolf A; Kovacs, Kit M

    2015-11-01

    Since the first documentation of climate-warming induced declines in arctic sea-ice, predictions have been made regarding the expected negative consequences for endemic marine mammals. But, several decades later, little hard evidence exists regarding the responses of these animals to the ongoing environmental changes. Herein, we report the first empirical evidence of a dramatic shift in movement patterns and foraging behaviour of the arctic endemic ringed seal (Pusa hispida), before and after a major collapse in sea-ice in Svalbard, Norway. Among other changes to the ice-regime, this collapse shifted the summer position of the marginal ice zone from over the continental shelf, northward to the deep Arctic Ocean Basin. Following this change, which is thought to be a 'tipping point', subadult ringed seals swam greater distances, showed less area-restricted search behaviour, dived for longer periods, exhibited shorter surface intervals, rested less on sea-ice and did less diving directly beneath the ice during post-moulting foraging excursions. In combination, these behavioural changes suggest increased foraging effort and thus also likely increases in the energetic costs of finding food. Continued declines in sea-ice are likely to result in distributional changes, range reductions and population declines in this keystone arctic species. © 2015 The Author(s).

  2. Change of sea ice content in the Arctic and the associated climatic effects: detection and simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. I. Mokhov

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Modeling results of the impact of sea surface temperature and sea ice extent changes over the last decades on the formation of weather and climate anomalies are presented. It was found that the Arctic sea ice area reduction may lead to anti-cyclonic regimes’ formation causing anomalously cold winters in particular on the Russian territory. Using simulation with an atmospheric general circulation model, it is shown that the Early 20th Century Warming must have been accompanied by a large negative Arctic sea ice area anomaly in winter time. The results imply a considerable role of long-term natural climate variations in the modern sea ice area decrease. Estimates of the possible probability’s changes of the dangerous events of strong winds and high waves in the Arctic basin and favorable navigation conditions for the Northern Sea Route in the 21st century are made based on numerical model calculations. An increase of extreme wave height is found to the middle of the 21st century for Kara and Chukchi Seas as a consequence of prolonged run length and increased surface winds.

  3. 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

  4. An analysis of Arctic sea ice-atmosphere interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liptak, Jessica M.

    Arctic sea ice is a key component of the climate system, acting as a reflective barrier between the ocean and the atmosphere. The decrease in sea ice over the observational record is associated with several feedback processes, such as the ice-albedo feedback. Here, general sea ice-atmosphere feedback (SAF) is defined in which a sea ice anomaly causes surface and atmospheric responses that either enhance the initial anomaly (positive feedback) or oppose the initial anomaly (negative feedback). Chapters 2 and 3 examine the local SAF over the Barents Sea in an uncoupled modeling framework. Results indicate that the SAF is positive and dominated by the thermodynamic component of the feedback, where anomalously high sea ice cover over the Barents sea favors additional ice growth because it decreases upward surface turbulent heat fluxes, leading to atmospheric cooling and reduced downwelling longwave radiation flux at the surface, while the opposite scenario occurs for anomalously low sea ice cover. Chapter 4 studies the effect of suppressing the SAF in a coupled model by exposing the atmosphere over the Barents Sea to surface turbulent heat fluxes, longwave heat fluxes, and surface temperatures weighted by climatological sea ice cover. Variability in sea ice, atmospheric temperature, and sea surface temperature decrease in response to SAF suppression, indicating that the coupled feedback over the Barents Sea is positive. While thermodynamic processes play a large role in regional sea ice-atmosphere interactions, wind-driven sea ice transport controls the overall Arctic ice mass on annual-and-shorter time scales. Most sea ice is exported from the Arctic through the Fram Strait, and changes in sea ice export are linked to hemispheric-scale atmospheric variability. In Chapter 5, the leading propagating patterns of variability associated with Fram Strait sea ice flux ( F) are determined by applying Hilbert empirical orthogonal function analysis to reanalysis data. The

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Sea ice, rain-on-snow and tundra reindeer nomadism in Arctic Russia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Bruce C; Kumpula, Timo; Meschtyb, Nina; Laptander, Roza; Macias-Fauria, Marc; Zetterberg, Pentti; Verdonen, Mariana; Skarin, Anna; Kim, Kwang-Yul; Boisvert, Linette N; Stroeve, Julienne C; Bartsch, Annett

    2016-11-01

    Sea ice loss is accelerating in the Barents and Kara Seas (BKS). Assessing potential linkages between sea ice retreat/thinning and the region's ancient and unique social-ecological systems is a pressing task. Tundra nomadism remains a vitally important livelihood for indigenous Nenets and their large reindeer herds. Warming summer air temperatures have been linked to more frequent and sustained summer high-pressure systems over West Siberia, Russia, but not to sea ice retreat. At the same time, autumn/winter rain-on-snow (ROS) events have become more frequent and intense. Here, we review evidence for autumn atmospheric warming and precipitation increases over Arctic coastal lands in proximity to BKS ice loss. Two major ROS events during November 2006 and 2013 led to massive winter reindeer mortality episodes on the Yamal Peninsula. Fieldwork with migratory herders has revealed that the ecological and socio-economic impacts from the catastrophic 2013 event will unfold for years to come. The suggested link between sea ice loss, more frequent and intense ROS events and high reindeer mortality has serious implications for the future of tundra Nenets nomadism. © 2016 The Authors.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Quantification of sea ice production in Weddell Sea polynyas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zentek, Rolf; Heinemann, Günther; Paul, Stephan; Stulic, Lukrecia; Timmermann, Ralph

    2017-04-01

    The regional climate model COSMO-CLM was used to perform simulations the Weddell Sea region in Antarctica for the time period 2002-2015 with the focus on atmosphere-ocean-sea ice interactions. The original model was adapted to polar regions by the use of a thermodynamic sea ice module with snow cover and an temperature-dependent albedo scheme for sea ice. The recently published topography RTopo2 was used. The model was run with nesting in ERA-Interim data in a forecast mode. Sea ice concentrations were taken from satellite measurements (AMSR-E, SSMI/S, AMSR2) and were updated daily to allow for a close-to-reality hindcast. Simulations were done with 15 km resolution for the whole period 2002-2015 with the goal to force the sea-ice ocean model FESOM. In a second step a 5 km simulation was one-way nested for the winter period (April - September) 2002-2015 to allow for a better quantification of sea ice production in the Weddell Sea. Estimates of sea ice production and comparisons of the results to remote sensing data will be presented.

  17. Proteorhodopsin-bearing bacteria in Antarctic sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koh, Eileen Y; Atamna-Ismaeel, Nof; Martin, Andrew; Cowie, Rebecca O M; Beja, Oded; Davy, Simon K; Maas, Elizabeth W; Ryan, Ken G

    2010-09-01

    Proteorhodopsins (PRs) are widespread bacterial integral membrane proteins that function as light-driven proton pumps. Antarctic sea ice supports a complex community of autotrophic algae, heterotrophic bacteria, viruses, and protists that are an important food source for higher trophic levels in ice-covered regions of the Southern Ocean. Here, we present the first report of PR-bearing bacteria, both dormant and active, in Antarctic sea ice from a series of sites in the Ross Sea using gene-specific primers. Positive PR sequences were generated from genomic DNA at all depths in sea ice, and these sequences aligned with the classes Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Flavobacteria. The sequences showed some similarity to previously reported PR sequences, although most of the sequences were generally distinct. Positive PR sequences were also observed from cDNA reverse transcribed from RNA isolated from sea ice samples. This finding indicates that these sequences were generated from metabolically active cells and suggests that the PR gene is functional within sea ice. Both blue-absorbing and green-absorbing forms of PRs were detected, and only a limited number of blue-absorbing forms were found and were in the midsection of the sea ice profile in this study. Questions still remain regarding the protein's ecological functions, and ultimately, field experiments will be needed to establish the ecological and functional role of PRs in the sea ice ecosystem.

  18. Evaluation of Sentinel-3 SAR Performance over Arctic Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Bella, A.; Simonsen, S.; Skourup, H.; Sandberg Sorensen, L.; Forsberg, R.

    2016-12-01

    Sea ice is a fundamental component of the Earth climate system since it influences directly the albedo of our planet and regulates the heat exchange between the atmosphere and the ocean. Global weather patterns and climate are therefore strictly connected to the presence and properties of sea ice which represents an important element in short- and long-term climate modelling. The launch of the EC/ESA's Sentinel-3 mission offers the opportunity to prolong the observation of sea ice topography and dynamics as well as it provides essential near real-time information for ocean and weather forecasting. In particular, the SAR radar altimeter (SRAL) carried on board of this satellite enables to estimate sea ice thickness in ice-covered areas by measuring directly the sea ice freeboard. This work evaluates Sentinel-3 SAR performance over Arctic sea ice using laser altimetry data collected during a Sentinel-3 underflight - the first with the SRAL instrument operating in SAR mode - performed as a part of the CryoVEx 2016 campaign. Snow freeboard heights derived from airborne laser scanner measurements are used to validate the sea ice freeboard obtained by processing Sentinel-3 SAR level 1b waveforms. We present the results of the freeboard comparison from a statistical point of view.

  19. The multiphase physics of sea ice: a review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunke, E. C.; Notz, D.; Turner, A. K.; Vancoppenolle, M.

    2011-07-01

    Rather than being solid throughout, sea ice contains liquid brine inclusions, solid salts, microalgae, trace elements, gases, and other impurities which all exist in the interstices of a porous, solid ice matrix. This multiphase structure of sea ice arises from the fact that the salt that exists in seawater cannot be embedded into the water-ice crystal lattice upon formation of sea ice, but remains in liquid solution. Depending on the ice porosity (determined by temperature and salinity), this brine can drain from the ice, taking other sea ice constituents with it. Thus, sea ice salinity and microstructure are tightly interconnected and play a significant role in polar ecosystems and climate. As large-scale climate modeling efforts move toward "earth system" simulations that include biological and chemical cycles, renewed interest in the multiphase physics of sea ice has strengthened research initiatives to observe, understand and model this complex system. This review article provides an overview of these efforts, highlighting known difficulties and requisite observations for further progress in the field. We focus on mushy-layer theory, which describes general multiphase materials, and on numerical approaches now being explored to model the multiphase evolution of sea ice and its interaction with chemical, biological and climate systems.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Filling the Polar Data Gap in Sea Ice Concentration Fields Using Partial Differential Equations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Courtenay Strong

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The “polar data gap” is a region around the North Pole where satellite orbit inclination and instrument swath for SMMR and SSM/I-SSMIS satellites preclude retrieval of sea ice concentrations. Data providers make the irregularly shaped data gap round by centering a circular “pole hole mask” over the North Pole. The area within the pole hole mask has conventionally been assumed to be ice-covered for the purpose of sea ice extent calculations, but recent conditions around the perimeter of the mask indicate that this assumption may already be invalid. Here we propose an objective, partial differential equation based model for estimating sea ice concentrations within the area of the pole hole mask. In particular, the sea ice concentration field is assumed to satisfy Laplace’s equation with boundary conditions determined by observed sea ice concentrations on the perimeter of the gap region. This type of idealization in the concentration field has already proved to be quite useful in establishing an objective method for measuring the “width” of the marginal ice zone—a highly irregular, annular-shaped region of the ice pack that interacts with the ocean, and typically surrounds the inner core of most densely packed sea ice. Realistic spatial heterogeneity in the idealized concentration field is achieved by adding a spatially autocorrelated stochastic field with temporally varying standard deviation derived from the variability of observations around the mask. To test the model, we examined composite annual cycles of observation-model agreement for three circular regions adjacent to the pole hole mask. The composite annual cycle of observation-model correlation ranged from approximately 0.6 to 0.7, and sea ice concentration mean absolute deviations were of order 10 − 2 or smaller. The model thus provides a computationally simple approach to solving the increasingly important problem of how to fill the polar data gap. Moreover, this

  4. A mechanism for biologically induced iodine emissions from sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saiz-Lopez, A.; Blaszczak-Boxe, C. S.; Carpenter, L. J.

    2015-09-01

    Ground- and satellite-based measurements have reported high concentrations of iodine monoxide (IO) in coastal Antarctica. The sources of such a large iodine burden in the coastal Antarctic atmosphere remain unknown. We propose a mechanism for iodine release from sea ice based on the premise that micro-algae are the primary source of iodine emissions in this environment. The emissions are triggered by the biological production of iodide (I-) and hypoiodous acid (HOI) from micro-algae (contained within and underneath sea ice) and their diffusion through sea-ice brine channels, ultimately accumulating in a thin brine layer (BL) on the surface of sea ice. Prior to reaching the BL, the diffusion timescale of iodine within sea ice is depth-dependent. The BL is also a vital component of the proposed mechanism as it enhances the chemical kinetics of iodine-related reactions, which allows for the efficient release of iodine to the polar boundary layer. We suggest that iodine is released to the atmosphere via three possible pathways: (1) emitted from the BL and then transported throughout snow atop sea ice, from where it is released to the atmosphere; (2) released directly from the BL to the atmosphere in regions of sea ice that are not covered with snowpack; or (3) emitted to the atmosphere directly through fractures in the sea-ice pack. To investigate the proposed biology-ice-atmosphere coupling at coastal Antarctica we use a multiphase model that incorporates the transport of iodine species, via diffusion, at variable depths, within brine channels of sea ice. Model simulations were conducted to interpret observations of elevated springtime IO in the coastal Antarctic, around the Weddell Sea. While a lack of experimental and observational data adds uncertainty to the model predictions, the results nevertheless show that the levels of inorganic iodine (i.e. I2, IBr, ICl) released from sea ice through this mechanism could account for the observed IO concentrations during

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Sea ice meiofauna distribution on local to pan-Arctic scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bluhm, Bodil A; Hop, Haakon; Vihtakari, Mikko; Gradinger, Rolf; Iken, Katrin; Melnikov, Igor A; Søreide, Janne E

    2018-02-01

    Arctic sea ice provides microhabitats for biota that inhabit the liquid-filled network of brine channels and the ice-water interface. We used meta-analysis of 23 published and unpublished datasets comprising 721 ice cores to synthesize the variability in composition and abundance of sea ice meiofauna at spatial scales ranging from within a single ice core to pan-Arctic and seasonal scales. Two-thirds of meiofauna individuals occurred in the bottom 10 cm of the ice. Locally, replicate cores taken within meters of each other were broadly similar in meiofauna composition and abundance, while those a few km apart varied more; 75% of variation was explained by station. At the regional scale (Bering Sea first-year ice), meiofauna abundance varied over two orders of magnitude. At the pan-Arctic scale, the same phyla were found across the region, with taxa that have resting stages or tolerance to extreme conditions (e.g., nematodes and rotifers) dominating abundances. Meroplankton, however, was restricted to nearshore locations and landfast sea ice. Light availability, ice thickness, and distance from land were significant predictor variables for community composition on different scales. On a seasonal scale, abundances varied broadly for all taxa and in relation to the annual ice algal bloom cycle in both landfast and pack ice. Documentation of ice biota composition, abundance, and natural variability is critical for evaluating responses to decline in Arctic sea ice. Consistent methodology and protocols must be established for comparability of meiofauna monitoring across the Arctic. We recommend to (1) increase taxonomic resolution of sea ice meiofauna, (2) focus sampling on times of peak abundance when seasonal sampling is impossible, (3) include the bottom 30 cm of ice cores rather than only bottom 10 cm, (4) preserve specimens for molecular analysis to improve taxonomic resolution, and (5) formulate a trait-based framework that relates to ecosystem functioning.

  8. Changes in snow distribution and surface topography following a snowstorm on Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo, Ernesto; Leonard, Katherine; Maksym, Ted; Lehning, Michael

    2016-11-01

    Snow distribution over sea ice is an important control on sea ice physical and biological processes. We combine measurements of the atmospheric boundary layer and blowing snow on an Antarctic sea ice floe with terrestrial laser scanning to characterize a typical storm and its influence on the spatial patterns of snow distribution at resolutions of 1-10 cm over an area of 100 m × 100 m. The pre-storm surface exhibits multidirectional elongated snow dunes formed behind aerodynamic obstacles. Newly deposited dunes are elongated parallel to the predominant wind direction during the storm. Snow erosion and deposition occur over 62% and 38% of the area, respectively. Snow deposition volume is more than twice that of erosion (351 m3 versus 158 m3), resulting in a modest increase of 2 ± 1 cm in mean snow depth, indicating a small net mass gain despite large mass relocation. Despite significant local snow depth changes due to deposition and erosion, the statistical distributions of elevation and the two-dimensional correlation functions remain similar to those of the pre-storm surface. Pre-storm and post-storm surfaces also exhibit spectral power law relationships with little change in spectral exponents. These observations suggest that for sea ice floes with mature snow cover features under conditions similar to those observed in this study, spatial statistics and scaling properties of snow surface morphology may be relatively invariant. Such an observation, if confirmed for other ice types and conditions, may be a useful tool for model parameterizations of the subgrid variability of sea ice surfaces.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Sensitivity of Arctic Summer Sea Ice Coverage to Global Warming Forcing: Toward Reducing Uncertainty in Arctic Climate Change Projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiangdong

    2010-05-01

    Substantial uncertainties have emerged in Arctic climate change projections by the fourth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report (IPCC AR4) climate models. The recently observed acceleration of sea ice decline and the extreme event of sea ice cover loss in summer 2007 and the out-of-phase anomalies of surface air temperature between high- and mid-latitudes in winter 2009 further enhance such uncertainties. The models as a group considerably underestimate the recent changes in sea ice. To better understand the uncertainties, following our previous study (Zhang and Walsh 2006), we evaluated sensitivities of summer sea ice coverage to global warming forcing in models and observations. The result suggests that the uncertainties result from the large range of sensitivities involved in the computation of sea ice mass balance by the climate models. Perturbations in model initialization can also result in different feedback strength in the ensemble runs. Selected, observationally-constrained model runs by the sensitivity analysis well captured the observed changes in and reduced future projection uncertainties of sea ice area and surface air temperatures. The projected ice-free summer Arctic Ocean may occur as early as in the late 2030s and the Arctic regional mean surface air temperature will be likely increased by 8.5C in winter and 3.7C in summer by the end of this century. This study for the first time employs the concept and approach of climate sensitivity to evaluate summer sea ice uncertainties in climate model simulations. It provides useful information for improving model simulations and projections for the forthcoming IPCC AR5.

  13. The Impact of a Lower Sea Ice Extent on Arctic Greenhouse Gas Exchange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parmentier, Frans-Jan W.; Christensen, Torben R.; Lotte Sørensen, Lise; Rysgaard, Søren; McGuire, A. David; Miller, Paul A.; Walker, Donald A.

    2013-04-01

    Arctic sea ice extent hit a new record low in September 2012, when it fell to a level about two times lower than the 1979-2000 average. Record low sea ice extents such as these are often hailed as an obvious example of the impact of climate change on the Arctic. Less obvious, however, are the further implications of a lower sea ice extent on Arctic greenhouse gas exchange. For example, a reduction in sea ice, in consort with a lower snow cover, has been connected to higher surface temperatures in the terrestrial part of the Arctic (Screen et al., 2012). These higher temperatures and longer growing seasons have the potential to alter the CO2 balance of Arctic tundra through enhanced photosynthesis and respiration, as well as the magnitude of methane emissions. In fact, large changes are already observed in terrestrial ecosystems (Post et al., 2009), and concerns have been raised of large releases of carbon through permafrost thaw (Schuur et al., 2011). While these changes in the greenhouse gas balance of the terrestrial Arctic are described in numerous studies, a connection with a decline in sea ice extent is nonetheless seldom made. In addition to these changes on land, a lower sea ice extent also has a direct effect on the exchange of greenhouse gases between the ocean and the atmosphere. For example, due to sea ice retreat, more ocean surface remains in contact with the atmosphere, and this has been suggested to increase the oceanic uptake of CO2 (Bates et al., 2006). However, the sustainability of this increased uptake is uncertain (Cai et al., 2010), and carbon fluxes related directly to the sea ice itself add much uncertainty to the oceanic uptake of CO2 (Nomura et al., 2006; Rysgaard et al., 2007). Furthermore, significant emissions of methane from the Arctic Ocean have been observed (Kort et al., 2012; Shakhova et al., 2010), but the consequence of a lower sea ice extent thereon is still unclear. Overall, the decline in sea ice that has been seen in recent

  14. 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...

  15. Nimbus-7 SMMR Polar Gridded Radiances and Sea Ice Concentrations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains gridded brightness temperatures and sea ice concentrations for both polar regions. It spans the period from October 1978 through August 1987,...

  16. Meltpond2000 Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer Sea Ice Brightness Temperatures

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Meltpond2000 project was the first in a series of Arctic and Antarctic aircraft campaigns to validate sea ice algorithms developed for the Advanced Microwave...

  17. Gypsum crystals observed in experimental and natural sea ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geilfus, Nicolas-Xavier; Galley, Ryan; Cooper, Marc

    2013-01-01

    of authigenic gypsum in sea ice during its formation represents a new observation of precipitate formation and potential marine deposition in polar seas. Citation: Geilfus, N.-X., R. J. Galley, M. Cooper, N. Halden, A. Hare, F. Wang, D. H. Søgaard, and S. Rysgaard (2013), Gypsum crystals observed......Although 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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).

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Forecasting Future Sea Ice Conditions: A Lagrangian Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    Journal of Climate, in revision). The decadal forecasting of the minimum sea ice extent based on the output of 30 ensemble members of the Community...1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Forecasting Future Sea Ice Conditions: A Lagrangian...1- Show from observations whether the dynamics of the multi -year pack ice has a influence on the location of the following summer MIZ. 2

  5. The Influence of Platelet Ice and Snow on Antarctic Land-fast Sea Ice

    OpenAIRE

    Hoppmann, Mario; Nicolaus, Marcel

    2011-01-01

    Sea ice fastened to coasts, icebergs and ice shelves is of crucial importance for climate- and ecosystems. Near Antarctic ice shelves, this land-fast sea ice exhibits two unique characteristics that distinguish it from most other sea ice: 1) Ice platelets form and grow in super-cooled water, which originates from ice shelf cavities. The crystals accumulate beneath the solid sea-ice cover and are incorporated into the sea-ice fabric, contributing between 10 and 60% to the mas...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The thermodynamic state of the Arctic atmosphere observed by AIRS: comparisons during the record minimum sea ice extents of 2007 and 2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Devasthale

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The record sea ice minimum (SIM extents observed during the summers of 2007 and 2012 in the Arctic are stark evidence of accelerated sea ice loss during the last decade. Improving our understanding of the Arctic atmosphere and accurate quantification of its characteristics becomes ever more crucial, not least to improve predictions of such extreme events in the future. In this context, the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS instrument onboard NASA's Aqua satellite provides crucial insights due to its ability to provide 3-D information on atmospheric thermodynamics. Here, we facilitate comparisons in the evolution of the thermodynamic state of the Arctic atmosphere during these two SIM events using a decade-long AIRS observational record (2003–2012. It is shown that the meteorological conditions during 2012 were not extreme, but three factors of preconditioning from winter through early summer played an important role in accelerating sea ice melt. First, the marginal sea ice zones along the central Eurasian and North Atlantic sectors remained warm throughout winter and early spring in 2012 preventing thicker ice build-up. Second, the circulation pattern favoured efficient sea ice transport out of the Arctic in the Atlantic sector during late spring and early summer in 2012 compared to 2007. Third, additional warming over the Canadian archipelago and southeast Beaufort Sea from May onward further contributed to accelerated sea ice melt. All these factors may have lead the already thin and declining sea ice cover to pass below the previous sea ice extent minimum of 2007. In sharp contrast to 2007, negative surface temperature anomalies and increased cloudiness were observed over the East Siberian and Chukchi seas in the summer of 2012. The results suggest that satellite-based monitoring of atmospheric preconditioning could be a critical source of information in predicting extreme sea ice melting events in the Arctic.

  10. Global warming releases microplastic legacy frozen in Arctic Sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obbard, Rachel W.; Sadri, Saeed; Wong, Ying Qi; Khitun, Alexandra A.; Baker, Ian; Thompson, Richard C.

    2014-06-01

    When sea ice forms it scavenges and concentrates particulates from the water column, which then become trapped until the ice melts. In recent years, melting has led to record lows in Arctic Sea ice extent, the most recent in September 2012. Global climate models, such as that of Gregory et al. (2002), suggest that the decline in Arctic Sea ice volume (3.4% per decade) will actually exceed the decline in sea ice extent, something that Laxon et al. (2013) have shown supported by satellite data. The extent to which melting ice could release anthropogenic particulates back to the open ocean has not yet been examined. Here we show that Arctic Sea ice from remote locations contains concentrations of microplastics at least two orders of magnitude greater than those that have been previously reported in highly contaminated surface waters, such as those of the Pacific Gyre. Our findings indicate that microplastics have accumulated far from population centers and that polar sea ice represents a major historic global sink of man-made particulates. The potential for substantial quantities of legacy microplastic contamination to be released to the ocean as the ice melts therefore needs to be evaluated, as do the physical and toxicological effects of plastics on marine life.

  11. 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...... the physical parametrizations. Sea ice drift products are also required to locate regions of convergent and divergent ice motion across spatio-temporal scales from meters / hours to basins / years.The work in the CCI Sea Ice project includes defining metrics for assessing the accuracy of algorithms, selecting...... relevant satellite and “ground-truth” data, building the Round-Robin Data Package for testing the algorithms, and finally selection of the most promising algorithm(s) for processing of a new sea ice drift climate dataset. Specific efforts are dedicated to the definition of per-grid-cell uncertainties...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Y.; Miller, G. H.; Otto-Bliesner, B. L.; Holland, M. M.; Bailey, D. A.; Schneider, D. P.; Geirsdottir, A.

    2011-12-01

    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

  15. 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

  16. History of sea ice in the Arctic basin: Lessons from the past for future

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. I. Borzenkova

    2016-01-01

     mechanism of replacing the perennial sea ice by the seasonal ones has been started up, that is the natural process of transition from seasonal ices to the next stage that is the ice-free Arctic. On the assumption that increasing of the CO2 concentration will continue despite the efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and the radiation forcing will approach to doubling of the CO2 content, one of the scenarios of the past can be realized now.

  17. a Novel Approach to Retrieve Arctic Sea Ice Thickness for Prediction and Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brucker, L.; Vernières, G.

    2017-12-01

    In spite of October-November Arctic-sea-ice-volume loss exceeding 7000 km3 in the decade following ICESat launch, most global ocean reanalysis systems are not able to reproduce such a drastic decline. Knowledge of the sea ice properties and its thickness distribution is critical to our understanding of polar ocean processes and the role of the polar regions in the Earth's climate system. Existing large-scale sea ice thickness datasets are derived from freeboard observations made by different satellite altimeters (radar and lidar). These datasets are significantly different due to the remote sensing technique and spacecraft orbit, and they are limited in time. These differences increase the difficulty of using such data for sea ice initialization and assimilation, and increase the challenge for studying sea ice processes and interactions with the ocean and atmosphere. For the first time, we were able to reproduce the Arctic sea ice thickness field at 10 km resolution with success for fall, winter, and spring (April/May depending on melt conditions) from passive microwave data. Our results reveal the same patterns of thickness distribution in the Arctic basin and peripheral seas as CryoSat-2, and the majority of the retrievals are within 0.5 m of CryoSat-2. The range of CryoSat-2 ice thickness is correctly retrieved, including in the upper range (3-5 m). The amplitude is well reproduced too, as the distribution of differences is centered on 0 m (no bias). Some underestimations are visible between islands of the Canadian Archipelago, but due to the size of the field of view our confidence will always be lower in this region where there is land contamination. An initial comparison of the AMSR2 ice thickness with IceBridge airborne products in different sectors (Beaufort sea, central Arctic) demonstrates the quality of the retrievals. In this presentation, we will also quantify the prediction and nowcast gain obtained from assimilating these new retrievals. We carried

  18. 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.

  19. Arctic Ocean sea ice drift origin derived from artificial radionuclides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Camara-Mor, P.; Masque, P.; Garcia-Orellana, J.; Cochran, J.K.; Mas, J.L.; Chamizo, E.; Hanfland, C.

    2010-01-01

    Since the 1950s, nuclear weapon testing and releases from the nuclear industry have introduced anthropogenic radionuclides into the sea, and in many instances their ultimate fate are the bottom sediments. The Arctic Ocean is one of the most polluted in this respect, because, in addition to global fallout, it is impacted by regional fallout from nuclear weapon testing, and indirectly by releases from nuclear reprocessing facilities and nuclear accidents. Sea-ice formed in the shallow continental shelves incorporate sediments with variable concentrations of anthropogenic radionuclides that are transported through the Arctic Ocean and are finally released in the melting areas. In this work, we present the results of anthropogenic radionuclide analyses of sea-ice sediments (SIS) collected on five cruises from different Arctic regions and combine them with a database including prior measurements of these radionuclides in SIS. The distribution of 137 Cs and 239,240 Pu activities and the 240 Pu/ 239 Pu atom ratio in SIS showed geographical differences, in agreement with the two main sea ice drift patterns derived from the mean field of sea-ice motion, the Transpolar Drift and Beaufort Gyre, with the Fram Strait as the main ablation area. A direct comparison of data measured in SIS samples against those reported for the potential source regions permits identification of the regions from which sea ice incorporates sediments. The 240 Pu/ 239 Pu atom ratio in SIS may be used to discern the origin of sea ice from the Kara-Laptev Sea and the Alaskan shelf. However, if the 240 Pu/ 239 Pu atom ratio is similar to global fallout, it does not provide a unique diagnostic indicator of the source area, and in such cases, the source of SIS can be constrained with a combination of the 137 Cs and 239,240 Pu activities. Therefore, these anthropogenic radionuclides can be used in many instances to determine the geographical source area of sea-ice.

  20. 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.

  1. Antarctic sea ice variability using NASA team algorithm data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreira, S.; Compagnucci, R.

    Sea ice is an important, highly variable feature of the Earth's surface, both reflecting and influencing climatic conditions. Sea ice covers approximately 7 percent of the world oceans, significantly reduces the amount of solar radiation absorbed at the Earth's surface, greatly restricts the transfer of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere in winter, and influences global atmospheric and oceanic circulation. In this paper, monthly through interannual variability of the sea ice between 0 and 120W is analysed for the 22-year period 1979 through 2000. The monthly Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations data set derived from the Nimbus-7 Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) and the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program's (DMSP) DMSP-F8, F11 and F13, Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) generated by NASA team algorithm were used. This data were acquired from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and are gridded on the SSM/I polar stereographic grid (25 x 25 km) provided in two-byte integer format. Principal Components Analysis in T-Mode was performed on pre-processed sea ice data (anomalies from which have been removed continent and perennial open water), in order to investigate which are the main space patterns, when do they present and how they are coupled to different atmospheric variables. This analysis provide 12 patterns (6 in direct mode and 6 in inverse mode) that represent the most important spatial features that dominate sea ice variability in the Weddell, Amudsen and Bellinghausen Seas. These 12 patterns, or their combinations, describe completely the behavior of the 264 month means sea ice concentration anomalies of the record we used of the selected Antarctic region.

  2. 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.

  3. Current Status and Future Plan of Arctic Sea Ice monitoring in South Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, J.; Park, J.

    2016-12-01

    Arctic sea ice is one of the most important parameters in climate. For monitoring of sea ice changes, the National Meteorological Satellite Center (NMSC) of Korea Metrological Administration has developed the "Arctic sea ice monitoring system" to retrieve the sea ice extent and surface roughness using microwave sensor data, and statistical prediction model for Arctic sea ice extent. This system has been implemented to the web site for real-time public service. The sea ice information can be retrieved using the spaceborne microwave sensor-Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMI/S). The sea ice information like sea ice extent, sea ice surface roughness, and predictive sea ice extent are produced weekly base since 2007. We also publish the "Analysis report of the Arctic sea ice" twice a year. We are trying to add more sea ice information into this system. Details of current status and future plan of Arctic sea ice monitoring and the methodology of the sea ice information retrievals will be presented in the meeting.

  4. 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.

  5. Recent changes in the dynamic properties of declining Arctic sea ice: A model study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jinlun; Lindsay, Ron; Schweiger, Axel; Rigor, Ignatius

    2012-10-01

    Results from a numerical model simulation show significant changes in the dynamic properties of Arctic sea ice during 2007-2011 compared to the 1979-2006 mean. These changes are linked to a 33% reduction in sea ice volume, with decreasing ice concentration, mostly in the marginal seas, and decreasing ice thickness over the entire Arctic, particularly in the western Arctic. The decline in ice volume results in a 37% decrease in ice mechanical strength and 31% in internal ice interaction force, which in turn leads to an increase in ice speed (13%) and deformation rates (17%). The increasing ice speed has the tendency to drive more ice out of the Arctic. However, ice volume export is reduced because the rate of decrease in ice thickness is greater than the rate of increase in ice speed, thus retarding the decline of Arctic sea ice volume. Ice deformation increases the most in fall and least in summer. Thus the effect of changes in ice deformation on the ice cover is likely strong in fall and weak in summer. The increase in ice deformation boosts ridged ice production in parts of the central Arctic near the Canadian Archipelago and Greenland in winter and early spring, but the average ridged ice production is reduced because less ice is available for ridging in most of the marginal seas in fall. The overall decrease in ridged ice production contributes to the demise of thicker, older ice. As the ice cover becomes thinner and weaker, ice motion approaches a state of free drift in summer and beyond and is therefore more susceptible to changes in wind forcing. This is likely to make seasonal or shorter-term forecasts of sea ice edge locations more challenging.

  6. 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

  7. Modelling acoustic propagation beneath Antarctic sea ice using measured environmental parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Polly; Duncan, Alec; Bose, Neil; Williams, Guy

    2016-09-01

    Autonomous underwater vehicles are improving and expanding in situ observations of sea ice for the validation of satellite remote sensing and climate models. Missions under sea ice, particularly over large distances (up to 100 km) away from the immediate vicinity of a ship or base, require accurate acoustic communication for monitoring, emergency response and some navigation systems. We investigate the propagation of acoustic signals in the Antarctic seasonal ice zone using the BELLHOP model, examining the influence of ocean and sea ice properties. We processed available observations from around Antarctica to generate input variables such as sound speed, surface reflection coefficient (R) and roughness parameters. The results show that changes in the sound speed profile make the most significant difference to the propagation of the direct path signal. The inclusion of the surface reflected signals from a flat ice surface was found to greatly decrease the transmission loss with range. When ice roughness was added, the transmission loss increased with roughness, in a manner similar to the direct path transmission loss results. The conclusions of this work are that: (1) the accuracy of acoustic modelling in this environment is greatly increased by using realistic sound speed data; (2) a risk averse ranging model would use only the direct path signal transmission; and (3) in a flat ice scenario, much greater ranges can be achieved if the surface reflected transmission paths are included. As autonomous missions under sea ice increase in scale and complexity, it will be increasingly important for operational procedures to include effective modelling of acoustic propagation with representative environmental data.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Measurements of sea ice by satellite and airborne altimetry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kildegaard Rose, Stine

    A changing sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean is an early indicator of a climate in transition, the sea ice has in addition a large impact on the climate. The annual and interannual variations of the sea ice cover have been observed by satellites since the start of the satellite era in 1979......, and it has been in retreat every since. The mass balance of the sea ice is an important input to climate models, where the ice thickness is the most uncertain parameter. In this study, data from the CryoSat-2 radar altimeter satellite are used. CryoSat-2 has been measuring the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean......, and at an acceptable level (r=0.604), but more knowledge of the datasets are needed to improve this correlation. Leads are used to form the local sea surface height, and are crucial in the freeboard retrieval. Leads are detected from the CryoSat data by looking at the waveforms. In an independent study, the sea...

  11. Validation and evaluation of a workstation for monitoring sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntyre, Neil; Boardman, Diane; Darwin, David; Sullivan, Ken

    1994-12-01

    Demand for reliable sea ice information comes from many quarters including ship routing and resource exploitation companies, weather forecasting agencies and glaciological research institution. For operational purposes, this information is typically required for local regions on short timescales. To explore this market a prototype sea ice workstation has been developed. The workstation uses data from several current earth observation sensors, combining the advantages of regional survey, all-weather capability and high-resolution imagery. The output from the workstation is an integrated sea ice chart which can be used to display combinations of ice edge, ice type, ice concentrations, ice motion vectors and sea surface temperatures. During the course of its development significant new progress in automated ice classification has been achieved together with the enhancement of existing ice motion algorithms. The quality of the sea ice information from each geophysical algorithm was assessed through validation campaigns which collected independent datasets. The results of this analysis show the ice type classification to be most accurate in identifying multi-year ice; this is probably the most critical ice category for navigational purposes. A program of end-user evaluation has also been started in which sea ice charts are supplied to operational organizations and value-added services. This will continue during 1994 and provide feedback on the use of the workstation in a semi-operational environment.

  12. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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......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...

  14. A 10,000-year record of Arctic Ocean sea-ice variability—view from the beach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Svend Visby; Goosse, Hugues; Jepsen, Hans Festersen

    2011-01-01

    increase in multiyear sea ice culminated during the past 2500 years and is linked to an increase in ice export from the western Arctic and higher variability of ice-drift routes. When the ice was at its minimum in northern Greenland, it greatly increased at Ellesmere Island to the west. The lack...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Impact of rapid sea-ice reduction in the Arctic Ocean on the rate of ocean acidification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Yamamoto

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The largest pH decline and widespread undersaturation with respect to aragonite in this century due to uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the Arctic Ocean have been projected. The reductions in pH and aragonite saturation state in the Arctic Ocean have been caused by the melting of sea ice as well as by an increase in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Therefore, future projections of pH and aragonite saturation in the Arctic Ocean will be affected by how rapidly the reduction in sea ice occurs. The observed recent Arctic sea-ice loss has been more rapid than projected by many of the climate models that contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. In this study, the impact of sea-ice reduction rate on projected pH and aragonite saturation state in the Arctic surface waters was investigated. Reductions in pH and aragonite saturation were calculated from the outputs of two versions of an Earth system model with different sea-ice reduction rates under similar CO2 emission scenarios. The newer model version projects that Arctic summer ice-free condition will be achieved by the year 2040, and the older version predicts ice-free condition by 2090. The Arctic surface water was projected to be undersaturated with respect to aragonite in the annual mean when atmospheric CO2 concentration reaches 513 (606 ppm in year 2046 (2056 in new (old version. At an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 520 ppm, the maximum differences in pH and aragonite saturation state between the two versions were 0.1 and 0.21 respectively. The analysis showed that the decreases in pH and aragonite saturation state due to rapid sea-ice reduction were caused by increases in both CO2 uptake and freshwater input. Thus, the reductions in pH and aragonite saturation state in the Arctic surface waters are significantly affected by the difference in future projections for sea-ice

  18. 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.

  19. Pliocene Antarctic sea-ice reconstruction based on the diatom record the ANDRILL 1B core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, R. P.; Sjunneskog, C. M.; Winter, D.; Riesselman, C.

    2010-12-01

    The ANtarctic DRILLing Program’s AND-1B core, comprising 13 interglacial diatomaceous sections spanning the early Pliocene to the early Pleistocene, provides a largely complete record of Pliocene climate and sea-ice conditions in the Ross Sea. As primary producers, diatoms are directly influenced by surface water conditions, thus fossil assemblages provide a high quality proxy for past surface waters. The modern diatom flora of the Southern Ocean reflects the strong zonal system characterized by a seasonal sea-ice zone (SSIZ), a permanent open ocean zone (POOZ), and a subantarctic zone (SAZ), each with a distinct water column and sedimentary diatom assemblage. The stratigraphic distribution of these assemblages in the AND-1B core provides a history of changing sea surface temperature (SST) and sea-ice conditions through the Pliocene and early Pleistocene. In the early to mid-Pliocene section (4.6-3.3 Ma) the SSIZ is only represented by a few percent, including during glacial stages. This contrasts with the >80% present in the modern western Ross Sea. The SAZ is well represented during this interval in the core, along with the POOZ assemblage, despite the high latitude and proximity to the coastline. This assemblage indicates minimal sea-ice during the summer photoperiod at this latitude. The SSIZ assemblage is present but remains minor during the latter part of the mid-Pliocene (3.3-3.0 Ma). The diatom assemblage suggests surface water stratification, possibly indicating persistent polynya conditions. This period is followed by an interval characterized by both a slight increase in sea-ice and in subantarctic species, which we interpret as reflecting stronger seasonal SST variability compared to prior periods. The sea-ice assemblage and specific sea-ice indicator species increase slightly through the late Pliocene (2.0 Ma) and early Pleistocene (1.07 Ma) but never approach the abundance observed in the modern Ross Sea. These results show that the seasonal sea-ice

  20. 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.

  1. 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 (...

  2. 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)...

  3. 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......) placed on sea-ice, at six different sites north of Greenland for the preliminary study of sea surface height (SSH), and tidal analysis to improve tide models in the Central Arctic. The GPS measurements are compared with the Arctic tide model AOTIM-5, which assimilates tide-gauges and altimetry data....... 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....

  4. 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.

  5. Passive microwave remote sensing for sea ice research

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-01-01

    Techniques for gathering data by remote sensors on satellites utilized for sea ice research are summarized. Measurement of brightness temperatures by a passive microwave imager converted to maps of total sea ice concentration and to the areal fractions covered by first year and multiyear ice are described. Several ancillary observations, especially by means of automatic data buoys and submarines equipped with upward looking sonars, are needed to improve the validation and interpretation of satellite data. The design and performance characteristics of the Navy's Special Sensor Microwave Imager, expected to be in orbit in late 1985, are described. It is recommended that data from that instrument be processed to a form suitable for research applications and archived in a readily accessible form. The sea ice data products required for research purposes are described and recommendations for their archival and distribution to the scientific community are presented.

  6. MODIS/Terra Near Real Time (NRT) Sea Ice Extent 5-Min L2 Swath 1km

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — MODIS/Terra Near Real Time (NRT) Sea Ice Extent 5-Min L2 Swath 1km (MOD29) contains the following fields: sea ice by reflectance, sea ice by reflectance pixel...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. GLAS/ICESat L2 Sea Ice Altimetry Data (HDF5) V033

    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...

  14. 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,...

  15. NOAA/NMC/CAC Arctic and Antarctic Monthly Sea Ice Extent, 1973-1990

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Sea ice extent from January 1973 through August 1990 was digitized from weekly operational sea ice charts produced by the Navy/NOAA Joint Ice Center. Charts were...

  16. 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......Retrievals of total sea ice concentration from four algorithms using the 85.5 GHz vertically and horizontally polarized channels of the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) over the marginal ice zone in the Barents and Greenland Seas are compared with retrievals of total sea ice concentration...... from helicopter-borne linescan camera observations made during a cruise of the R/V Polarstern during May-June 1997. The goals are to evaluate (1) SSM/I 85.5 GHz retrievals of total sea ice concentration for climatological purposes, and (2) the ability of 85.5 GHz data to show the sea ice edge through...

  17. 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),...

  18. 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...

  19. Canadian Ice Service Arctic Regional Sea Ice Charts in SIGRID-3 Format, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — 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...

  20. Sea Ice Edge Location and Extent in the Russian Arctic, 1933-2006, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — 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),...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. GLAS/ICESat L2 Sea Ice Altimetry Data V034

    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...

  4. Northern Hemisphere EASE-Grid 2.0 Weekly Snow Cover and Sea Ice Extent

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Northern Hemisphere EASE-Grid 2.0 Weekly Snow Cover and Sea Ice Extent Version 4 product combine snow cover and sea ice extent at weekly intervals from 23...

  5. CryoSat-2 Sea Ice Freeboard, Thickness, and Snow Depth Quick Look, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The NASA CryoSat-2 Sea Ice Freeboard, Thickness, and Snow Depth Quick Look product is an experimental sea ice thickness data set containing derived geophysical data...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Thermodynamic treatment of morphogenesis of brine channels in sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thoms, S.; Kutschan, B.; Morawetz, K.; Gemming, S.

    2012-04-01

    Sea ice is a very variable biotope with respect to extension,thickness, porosity or texture. Therefore the basic understanding of brine channel formation in sea ice is important for the interplay between the microbial colonization and their natural habitat. The early phase of brine channel formation in sea ice is considered. The first structures emerging during sea-ice formation are determined by the phase instability of the ice-water system in the presence of salt. We apply a Ginzburg-Landau type approach to describe the phase separation in the two-component system (ice, salt). The free energy density involves two order parameters: one for the hexagonal ice phase with low salinity, and one for the liquid water with high salinity. A gradient dynamics minimizes the free energy with respect to the conservation of the salinity. The resulting model equations are solved numerically in one and two dimensions. The numerical solution shows a short-time behavior of structure formation where the freezing is assumed and a large-time broadening of the structure. A stability analysis provides the phase diagram where brine channels can be formed. In thermodynamics the parameters determine the supercooling or superheating region and the specific heat respectively. The size of the brine channels depends on the salinity and the temperature. With the help of realistic parameters the brine channel distribution is calculated and found in agreement with the measured samples.

  10. Distribution of dissolved and particulate metals in Antarctic sea ice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lannuzel, D.; Bowie, A.R.; van der Merwe, P.C.; Townsend, A.T.; Schoemann, V.

    2011-01-01

    Samples were collected in East Antarctic sea ice in late winter/early austral spring 2007 to assess the distributions of Al, Cr, Mn, Cu, Zn, Mo. Cd and Ba. Total dissolved (<02 mu m) and particulate (>0.2 mu m) concentrations were measured by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Sector Field Mass Spectrometry

  11. 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.

  12. Protists in Arctic drift and land-fast sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comeau, André M; Philippe, Benoît; Thaler, Mary; Gosselin, Michel; Poulin, Michel; Lovejoy, Connie

    2013-04-01

    Global climate change is having profound impacts on polar ice with changes in the duration and extent of both land-fast ice and drift ice, which is part of the polar ice pack. Sea ice is a distinct habitat and the morphologically identifiable sympagic community living within sea ice can be readily distinguished from pelagic species. Sympagic metazoa and diatoms have been studied extensively since they can be identified using microscopy techniques. However, non-diatom eukaryotic cells living in ice have received much less attention despite taxa such as the dinoflagellate Polarella and the cercozoan Cryothecomonas being isolated from sea ice. Other small flagellates have also been reported, suggesting complex microbial food webs. Since smaller flagellates are fragile, often poorly preserved, and are difficult for non-experts to identify, we applied high throughput tag sequencing of the V4 region of the 18S rRNA gene to investigate the eukaryotic microbiome within the ice. The sea ice communities were diverse (190 taxa) and included many heterotrophic and mixotrophic species. Dinoflagellates (43 taxa), diatoms (29 taxa) and cercozoans (12 taxa) accounted for ~80% of the sequences. The sympagic communities living within drift ice and land-fast ice harbored taxonomically distinct communities and we highlight specific taxa of dinoflagellates and diatoms that may be indicators of land-fast and drift ice. © 2012 Phycological Society of America.

  13. Surface energy, CO2 fluxes and sea ice

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Gulev, SK

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews the current state of observation, parameterization and evaluation of surface air-sea energy and gas fluxes, and sea ice, for the purposes of monitoring and predicting the state of the global ocean. The last 10 years have been...

  14. 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...

  15. Sea ice and its effect on mass transport between the atmosphere and the Southern Ocean interior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loose, Brice; Schlosser, Peter

    2010-05-01

    We examine gas exchange in the presence of sea ice in the Southern Ocean using tracer data and simple models of the oceanic surface layer. Convective cooling leads to sea ice formation over much of the ocean surface, precisely when the water column is most turbulent and has the greatest ability to exchange mass across the air-sea interface. It is this asynchrony of sea ice advance and retreat, versus mixed-layer convection and stratification that determines the net physical flux of gases between the atmosphere and the abyssal ocean interior. However, there is very little antecedent knowledge of the gas transfer velocity, k, through ice-covered waters. The only known estimate, using the radon-deficit method in the Barents Sea, yielded a value of k660 = 6 cm h-1 under ca. 90% ice cover. Here we attempt a second estimate using an isopycnal inventory of three water column tracers measured during the 1992 Ice Station Weddell drift: 3He, CFC-11 and salinity. This effort produced a mean value of 0.9 cm h-1 through ca. 92% ice cover, which is markedly reduced, despite the apparent similarity in ice cover. However, it is difficult to assess the turbulent forcing conditions in both estimates, and therefore we lack a complete basis for comparison. We use these disparate estimates to formulate alternative scenarios for gas ventilation through the seasonal ice zone in the Southern Ocean, by applying them to the Robin boundary condition on a reactive transport model for inorganic carbon. The results show that CO2 flux through sea ice represents 13-34% of the net annual air-sea flux, depending on the relationship between sea ice cover and k. However, the model also indicates that more restriction of natural CO2 in winter produces greater ventilation in the springtime marginal ice zone, with fluxes increasing by 200-700% over the winter value, despite photosynthetic activity. These results highlight the importance of understanding the physical, as well as biological, processes

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Sensitivity of arctic summer sea ice coverage to global warming forcing: towards reducing uncertainty in arctic climate change projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiangdong

    2010-05-01

    Substantial uncertainties have emerged in Arctic climate change projections by the fourth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report climate models. In particular, the models as a group considerably underestimate the recent accelerating sea ice reduction. To better understand the uncertainties, we evaluated sensitivities of summer sea ice coverage to global warming forcing in models and observations. The result suggests that the uncertainties result from the large range of sensitivities involved in the computation of sea ice mass balance by the climate models, specifically with the changes in sea ice area (SIA) ranging from 0.09 × 106 to -1.23 × 106km2 in response to 1.0 K increase of air temperature. The sensitivities also vary largely across ensemble members in the same model, indicating impacts of initial condition on evolution of feedback strength with model integrations. Through observationally constraining, the selected model runs by the sensitivity analysis well captured the observed changes in SIA and surface air temperatures and greatly reduced their future projection uncertainties to a certain range from the currently announced one. The projected ice-free summer Arctic Ocean may occur as early as in the late 2030s using a criterion of 80% SIA loss and the Arctic regional mean surface air temperature will be likely increased by 8.5 +/- 2.5 °C in winter and 3.7 +/- 0.9 °C in summer by the end of this century.

  19. Arctic Ocean sea ice drift origin derived from artificial radionuclides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cámara-Mor, P; Masqué, P; Garcia-Orellana, J; Cochran, J K; Mas, J L; Chamizo, E; Hanfland, C

    2010-07-15

    Since the 1950s, nuclear weapon testing and releases from the nuclear industry have introduced anthropogenic radionuclides into the sea, and in many instances their ultimate fate are the bottom sediments. The Arctic Ocean is one of the most polluted in this respect, because, in addition to global fallout, it is impacted by regional fallout from nuclear weapon testing, and indirectly by releases from nuclear reprocessing facilities and nuclear accidents. Sea-ice formed in the shallow continental shelves incorporate sediments with variable concentrations of anthropogenic radionuclides that are transported through the Arctic Ocean and are finally released in the melting areas. In this work, we present the results of anthropogenic radionuclide analyses of sea-ice sediments (SIS) collected on five cruises from different Arctic regions and combine them with a database including prior measurements of these radionuclides in SIS. The distribution of (137)Cs and (239,240)Pu activities and the (240)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratio in SIS showed geographical differences, in agreement with the two main sea ice drift patterns derived from the mean field of sea-ice motion, the Transpolar Drift and Beaufort Gyre, with the Fram Strait as the main ablation area. A direct comparison of data measured in SIS samples against those reported for the potential source regions permits identification of the regions from which sea ice incorporates sediments. The (240)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratio in SIS may be used to discern the origin of sea ice from the Kara-Laptev Sea and the Alaskan shelf. However, if the (240)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratio is similar to global fallout, it does not provide a unique diagnostic indicator of the source area, and in such cases, the source of SIS can be constrained with a combination of the (137)Cs and (239,240)Pu activities. Therefore, these anthropogenic radionuclides can be used in many instances to determine the geographical source area of sea-ice. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All

  20. 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

  1. Decadal to millennial-scale variability in sea ice, primary productivity, and Pacific-Water inflow in the Chukchi/East Siberian Sea area (Arctic Ocean)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Ruediger; Fahl, Kirsten; Matthiessen, Jens; Méheust, Marie; Nam, Seung-il; Niessen, Frank; Schade, Inka; Schreck, Michael; Wassmuth, Saskia; Xiao, Xiaotong

    2014-05-01

    Sea-ice is an essential component of the global climate system and, especially, the Polar Oceans. An alarming decrease in term of sea-ice concentration, thickness and duration, has been observed in the Arctic Ocean and its marginal seas over the last 30 years. Thus, understanding the processes controlling modern sea-ice variability and reconstructing paleo-sea-ice extent and variability in polar regions have become of great interest for the international scientific community during the last years. Here, we present new proxy records determined in sediment cores from the East Siberian Sea (RV Polarstern Expedition ARK-XXIII/3 in 2008; Core PS72/350) and from the Chukchi Sea (RV Araon Expedition ARA2B in 2011; Core ARA2B-1A, -1B). These records, including organic-geochemical bulk parameters, specific biomarkers (IP25 and sterols; PIP25; for recent reviews see Stein et al., 2012; Belt and Müller, 2013), biogenic opal, mineralogical data as well as high-resolution XRF scanning data, give new insight into the short-term (decadal-, centennial- to millennial-scale) variability in sea-ice, primary productivity and Pacific-Water inflow during Holocene times. Maximum concentrations of phytoplankton biomarkers and biogenic opal were determined between 8.5 and 4 kyrs. BP, suggesting enhanced primary productivity triggered by increased inflow of nutrient-rich Pacific Water (and/or an increased nutrient input due to an ice-edge position). Short-lived peak values in productivity might be related to strong pulses of Pacific-Water input during this time period (cf., Ortiz et al., 2009). A seasonal sea-ice cover was present in the Chukchi Sea throughout the last 10 kyrs. During the last 3-4 kyrs. BP, the sea-ice cover significantly extended. References Belt, S.T. and Müller, J., 2013. The Arctic sea ice biomarker IP25: a review of current understanding, recommendations for future research and applications in palaeo sea ice reconstructions. Quaternary Science Review 73, 9-25. Ortiz

  2. 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

  3. Summertime heat and Arctic ice retreat: the role of solar heat on bottom melting of Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planck, C.; Perovich, D. K.; Light, B.

    2017-12-01

    Sea ice in the Arctic has experienced significant change in recent years. Multiyear ice has been replaced by seasonal ice, and ice area has been replaced by lead area. Accompanying a thinner and less concentrated sea ice pack is an increase in solar heat input to the ocean through absorption in leads and light transmission through the ice. Previous work using sea ice mass balance data demonstrated a relationship between solar heat addition to the ice and ocean and bottom melting during the summer of 2008. Here we explore this relationship using results from other years. Data collected in recent years by collocated Ice Mass Balance (IMB) and Ocean Heat Flux (OHF) buoys has been analyzed for similar trends and is presented here over several melt seasons. Estimation of bottom heat fluxes have been determined from IMB data and turbulent heat transfer modeling. Incident shortwave radiations fluxes are obtained from reanalysis products, while lead fractions are determined from satellite observations. Radiative fluxes reflected and transmitted by the sea ice cover are estimated using algorithms and models. Relationships between ice melt, ice motion, and heat in the upper ocean are also explored.

  4. The retreat of Arctic sea ice: flash-back on the latest decades

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salas y Melia, D.

    2010-01-01

    The melting of the world's ice and snow, including Arctic sea ice is probably one of the most striking pictures of ongoing climate change. Arctic sea ice cover is now observed in real-time by satellite, and its changes in time are probably more visible to the general public than long term temperature or precipitation changes. However, the interpretation of the current retreat of Arctic sea ice is not straightforward. This article reviews progress in the scientific understanding of recent trends in sea ice due to recent observations and breakthroughs in sea ice modelling. (author)

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Future sea ice conditions and weather forecasts in the Arctic: Implications for Arctic shipping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascard, Jean-Claude; Riemann-Campe, Kathrin; Gerdes, Rüdiger; Schyberg, Harald; Randriamampianina, Roger; Karcher, Michael; Zhang, Jinlun; Rafizadeh, Mehrad

    2017-12-01

    The ability to forecast sea ice (both extent and thickness) and weather conditions are the major factors when it comes to safe marine transportation in the Arctic Ocean. This paper presents findings focusing on sea ice and weather prediction in the Arctic Ocean for navigation purposes, in particular along the Northeast Passage. Based on comparison with the observed sea ice concentrations for validation, the best performing Earth system models from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) program (CMIP5-Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5) were selected to provide ranges of potential future sea ice conditions. Our results showed that, despite a general tendency toward less sea ice cover in summer, internal variability will still be large and shipping along the Northeast Passage might still be hampered by sea ice blocking narrow passages. This will make sea ice forecasts on shorter time and space scales and Arctic weather prediction even more important.

  9. Convective forcing of mercury and ozone in the Arctic boundary layer induced by leads in sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Christopher W.; Obrist, Daniel; Steffen, Alexandra; Staebler, Ralf M.; Douglas, Thomas A.; Richter, Andreas; Nghiem, Son V.

    2014-02-01

    The ongoing regime shift of Arctic sea ice from perennial to seasonal ice is associated with more dynamic patterns of opening and closing sea-ice leads (large transient channels of open water in the ice), which may affect atmospheric and biogeochemical cycles in the Arctic. Mercury and ozone are rapidly removed from the atmospheric boundary layer during depletion events in the Arctic, caused by destruction of ozone along with oxidation of gaseous elemental mercury (Hg(0)) to oxidized mercury (Hg(II)) in the atmosphere and its subsequent deposition to snow and ice. Ozone depletion events can change the oxidative capacity of the air by affecting atmospheric hydroxyl radical chemistry, whereas atmospheric mercury depletion events can increase the deposition of mercury to the Arctic, some of which can enter ecosystems during snowmelt. Here we present near-surface measurements of atmospheric mercury and ozone from two Arctic field campaigns near Barrow, Alaska. We find that coastal depletion events are directly linked to sea-ice dynamics. A consolidated ice cover facilitates the depletion of Hg(0) and ozone, but these immediately recover to near-background concentrations in the upwind presence of open sea-ice leads. We attribute the rapid recoveries of Hg(0) and ozone to lead-initiated shallow convection in the stable Arctic boundary layer, which mixes Hg(0) and ozone from undepleted air masses aloft. This convective forcing provides additional Hg(0) to the surface layer at a time of active depletion chemistry, where it is subject to renewed oxidation. Future work will need to establish the degree to which large-scale changes in sea-ice dynamics across the Arctic alter ozone chemistry and mercury deposition in fragile Arctic ecosystems.

  10. Convective forcing of mercury and ozone in the Arctic boundary layer induced by leads in sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Christopher W; Obrist, Daniel; Steffen, Alexandra; Staebler, Ralf M; Douglas, Thomas A; Richter, Andreas; Nghiem, Son V

    2014-02-06

    The ongoing regime shift of Arctic sea ice from perennial to seasonal ice is associated with more dynamic patterns of opening and closing sea-ice leads (large transient channels of open water in the ice), which may affect atmospheric and biogeochemical cycles in the Arctic. Mercury and ozone are rapidly removed from the atmospheric boundary layer during depletion events in the Arctic, caused by destruction of ozone along with oxidation of gaseous elemental mercury (Hg(0)) to oxidized mercury (Hg(II)) in the atmosphere and its subsequent deposition to snow and ice. Ozone depletion events can change the oxidative capacity of the air by affecting atmospheric hydroxyl radical chemistry, whereas atmospheric mercury depletion events can increase the deposition of mercury to the Arctic, some of which can enter ecosystems during snowmelt. Here we present near-surface measurements of atmospheric mercury and ozone from two Arctic field campaigns near Barrow, Alaska. We find that coastal depletion events are directly linked to sea-ice dynamics. A consolidated ice cover facilitates the depletion of Hg(0) and ozone, but these immediately recover to near-background concentrations in the upwind presence of open sea-ice leads. We attribute the rapid recoveries of Hg(0) and ozone to lead-initiated shallow convection in the stable Arctic boundary layer, which mixes Hg(0) and ozone from undepleted air masses aloft. This convective forcing provides additional Hg(0) to the surface layer at a time of active depletion chemistry, where it is subject to renewed oxidation. Future work will need to establish the degree to which large-scale changes in sea-ice dynamics across the Arctic alter ozone chemistry and mercury deposition in fragile Arctic ecosystems.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Improving the Arctic ice edge forecasts by assimilating high resolution sea ice concentration products in the U.S. Navy's ice forecasting systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posey, P. G.; Metzger, E. J.; Wallcraft, A. J.; Hebert, D. A.; Allard, R.; Smedstad, O. M.; Phelps, M.; Fetterer, F. M.; Stewart, S.; Meier, W.; Helfrich, S.

    2016-02-01

    This study presents the improvement in ice edge error within the U.S. Navy's operational sea ice forecast systems gained by assimilating high horizontal resolution satellite-derived ice concentration products. Since the late 1980's, U.S. Navy ice forecast systems have assimilated near real-time sea ice concentration derived from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSMI and then SSMIS). The resolution of the SSMI derived product was approximately the same as the previous operational ice forecast system (25 km). As the sea ice forecast model resolution increased over time, the need for higher horizontal resolution observational data grew. In 2013, the Navy's Arctic Cap Nowcast/Forecast System (ACNFS) went into operations with a horizontal resolution of approximately 3.5 km at the North Pole. A method of blending ice concentration observations from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) with a sea ice mask produced by the National Ice Center has been developed, resulting in a 4 km ice concentration product. In this study, ACNFS was initialized with this newly developed high resolution blended ice concentration product, and the daily ice edge locations from model hindcast simulations were compared against independent observed ice edge locations. A second evaluation assimilating the new blended sea ice concentration product into the pre-operational Navy Global Ocean Forecast System (GOFS 3.1). This study describes the technique used to create the blended sea ice concentration product and the significant improvements in ice edge forecasting in both of the Navy's sea ice forecasting systems.

  14. 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.

  15. Arctic Ice Algae Distribution as Function of Large Scale Sea Ice Variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, H.; Castellani, G.; Lange, B. A.; David, C.; Katlein, C.; Peeken, I.; Nicolaus, M.; Losch, M. J.; van Franeker, J. A.

    2016-02-01

    One of the most pronounced impacts of climate change is the declining sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean, which has implications for sea-ice associated ecosystems that are strongly dependent on carbon produced by ice algae. In order to understand these ecosystems there is a need to understand the interaction between the physical and biological components of sea ice. Our current understanding of Arctic sea ice algae is based on observations with limited spatial coverage. Therefore, we aim to model the spatial distribution of ice-algae on a basin scale. Current sea-ice-ocean models do allow the representation of sea-ice variability on a scale of few km. Large scale characteristics of sea ice such as age, deformation, and snow cover, do affect the small scale ice properties, such as salinity, porosity, light transmission. The latter directly affect the sea ice algae content, but to what extent is not yet well understood. In this work we present a new parameterization for the sea-ice algae content developed with the aim to model the algae content and variability based on large scale sea-ice characteristics. This parameterization is tuned with data collected during a ship-based campaign to the Eastern Central Arctic in summer 2012. Sea-ice thickness and under-ice spectral surveys over different sea ice regimes were conducted with a Surface and Under Ice Trawl (SUIT) and a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV). In addition, ice cores were extracted at several sites for chl a analysis. We use a coupled sea-ice-ocean model with a spatial scale of 10 km and we show here the results for the temporal evolution of algae content in sea ice.

  16. Image Techniques for Identifying Sea-Ice Parameters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qin Zhang

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The estimation of ice forces are critical to Dynamic Positioning (DP operations in Arctic waters. Ice conditions are important for the analysis of ice-structure interaction in an ice field. To monitor sea-ice conditions, cameras are used as field observation sensors on mobile sensor platforms in Arctic. Various image processing techniques, such as Otsu thresholding, k-means clustering, distance transform, Gradient Vector Flow (GVF Snake, mathematical morphology, are then applied to obtain ice concentration, ice types, and floe size distribution from sea-ice images to ensure safe operations of structures in ice covered regions. Those techniques yield acceptable results, and their effectiveness are demonstrated in case studies.

  17. 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

  18. Quantifying Sea-Ice Loss as a Driver of Arctic Coastal Erosion

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

    Rapid erosion along the Arctic coast has highlighted the susceptibility of northern shorelines to changes in climate. Recent studies suggest a correlation between rapid coastline retreat and warming temperatures. Rapid coastal change coincides with declines in sea ice extent, which allows increase of sea surface temperature (SST), and inevitably exposes Arctic coastlines to increasing wave attack. Observations over a ~3 km transect of frozen, silty bluffs along the Beaufort Sea Coast at Drew Point, Alaska show an average annual loss of 12-15 m of coastline over 2007-2009. Locally, rates are as high as 25 m/yr. The lack of significant inflections across transitions to more sandy stretches of coastline suggests that sandy spits regress landward at similar rates during storm events. We quantify the impact of sea ice loss on the Arctic coast by using ‘open water season duration’ and ‘open water distance’ normal to the coast as first order proxies for erosion potential. Sea ice concentrations have been analyzed using Nimbus 7-SMMR /SSM/I and DMSP SSMI Passive Microwave data, which runs from 1978 to the present at daily or two-daily time resolution. The data cover the entire Arctic region at 25 by 25 km. Locally at Drew Point, the open water time window increases progressively over time and the high erosion years of 2004 and 2007 stand out as having large open water distances. Observed local temperature, solar radiation and wind records drive approximations of SST warming and wave energy. Our hypothesis is that areas of the coastal zone that experience significant changes in open water season and open water distance will be more vulnerable to changes due to ocean storm erosion and thermal notching by waves. Actual erosion is also importantly influenced by dominant wind directions, local bathymetry and specific time series of storm tracks.

  19. Variability and trends in Laptev Sea ice outflow between 1992-2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krumpen, T.; Janout, M.; Hodges, K. I.; Gerdes, R.; Girard-Ardhuin, F.; Hölemann, J. A.; Willmes, S.

    2013-02-01

    Variability and trends in seasonal and interannual ice area export out of the Laptev Sea between 1992 and 2011 are investigated using satellite-based sea ice drift and concentration data. We found an average total winter (October to May) ice area transport across the northern and eastern Laptev Sea boundaries (NB and EB) of 3.48 × 105 km2. The average transport across the NB (2.87 × 105 km2) is thereby higher than across the EB (0.61 × 105 km2), with a less pronounced seasonal cycle. The total Laptev Sea ice area flux significantly increased over the last decades (0.85 × 105 km2 decade-1, p > 0.95), dominated by increasing export through the EB (0.55 × 105 km2 decade-1, p > 0.90), while the increase in export across the NB is smaller (0.3 × 105 km2 decade-1) and statistically not significant. The strong coupling between across-boundary SLP gradient and ice drift velocity indicates that monthly variations in ice area flux are primarily controlled by changes in geostrophic wind velocities, although the Laptev Sea ice circulation shows no clear relationship with large-scale atmospheric indices. Also there is no evidence of increasing wind velocities that could explain the overall positive trends in ice export. The increased transport rates are rather the consequence of a changing ice cover such as thinning and/or a decrease in concentration. The use of a back-propagation method revealed that most of the ice that is incorporated into the Transpolar Drift is formed during freeze-up and originates from the central and western part of the Laptev Sea, while the exchange with the East Siberian Sea is dominated by ice coming from the central and southeastern Laptev Sea. Furthermore, our results imply that years of high ice export in late winter (February to May) have a thinning effect on the ice cover, which in turn preconditions the occurence of negative sea ice extent anomalies in summer.

  20. 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

  1. Assimilating high horizontal resolution sea ice concentration data into the US Navy's ice forecast systems: Arctic Cap Nowcast/Forecast System (ACNFS) and the Global Ocean Forecast System (GOFS 3.1)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posey, P. G.; Metzger, E. J.; Wallcraft, A. J.; Hebert, D. A.; Allard, R. A.; Smedstad, O. M.; Phelps, M. W.; Fetterer, F.; Stewart, J. S.; Meier, W. N.; Helfrich, S. R.

    2015-04-01

    This study presents the improvement in the US Navy's operational sea ice forecast systems gained by assimilating high horizontal resolution satellite-derived ice concentration products. Since the late 1980's, the ice forecast systems have assimilated near real-time sea ice concentration derived from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSMI and then SSMIS). The resolution of the satellite-derived product was approximately the same as the previous operational ice forecast system (25 km). As the sea ice forecast model resolution increased over time, the need for higher horizontal resolution observational data grew. In 2013, a new Navy sea ice forecast system (Arctic Cap Nowcast/Forecast System - ACNFS) went into operations with a horizontal resolution of ~3.5 km at the North Pole. A method of blending ice concentration observations from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR2) along with a sea ice mask produced by the National Ice Center (NIC) has been developed resulting in an ice concentration product with very high spatial resolution. In this study, ACNFS was initialized with this newly developed high resolution blended ice concentration product. The daily ice edge locations from model hindcast simulations were compared against independent observed ice edge locations. ACNFS initialized using the high resolution blended ice concentration data product decreased predicted ice edge location error compared to the operational system that only assimilated SSMIS data. A second evaluation assimilating the new blended sea ice concentration product into the pre-operational Navy Global Ocean Forecast System 3.1 also showed a substantial improvement in ice edge location over a system using the SSMIS sea ice concentration product alone. This paper describes the technique used to create the blended sea ice concentration product and the significant improvements to both of the Navy's sea ice forecasting systems.

  2. Extracting sea ice surface characteristics using spectral unmixing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, A.; Stroeve, J.

    2016-12-01

    The surface of the Arctic Ocean is a mixture of bare sea ice, snow covered sea ice, melt ponds, leads and open ocean. The composition of this mixture changes throughout the summer melt season. The mixture of surface types influences albedo at a range of scales, from local to global. The spatial variability of surface types often occurs at a scale smaller than the spatial resolution of remotely sensed imagery, resulting in a "mixed-pixel" problem. Therefore, it is important to quantify the fractions of surface types in each pixel. Multiple endmember spectral mixture analysis (MESMA) allows fractional area of surface types to be estimated. In this paper we explore classifying RS imagery collected over the Arctic Ocean into surface types using a spectral mixture analysis. MESMA is only as good as the endmembers. We use a library of spectra collected in-situ at Barrow, Resolute and the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean over bare and snow covered sea ice, melt ponds, and leads as our endmembers. The separability of spectra is first examined. For the spectral unmixing, we follow a similar approach to the MEM/MODSCAG algorithm for snow covered area. Endmember spectra for each of the four surface types are selected to find the best linear combination of spectra. The algorithm is tested on MODIS imagery for selected dates throughout the 2007 melt season. The approach is validated using high-resolution Quickbird imagery collected at the same time as the MODIS images.

  3. 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...

  4. Data-Driven Modeling and Prediction of Arctic Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondrashov, Dmitri; Chekroun, Mickael; Ghil, Michael

    2016-04-01

    We present results of data-driven predictive analyses of sea ice over the main Arctic regions. Our approach relies on the Multilayer Stochastic Modeling (MSM) framework of Kondrashov, Chekroun and Ghil [Physica D, 2015] and it leads to probabilistic prognostic models of sea ice concentration (SIC) anomalies on seasonal time scales. This approach is applied to monthly time series of state-of-the-art data-adaptive decompositions of SIC and selected climate variables over the Arctic. We evaluate the predictive skill of MSM models by performing retrospective forecasts with "no-look ahead" for up to 6-months ahead. It will be shown in particular that the memory effects included intrinsically in the formulation of our non-Markovian MSM models allow for improvements of the prediction skill of large-amplitude SIC anomalies in certain Arctic regions on the one hand, and of September Sea Ice Extent, on the other. Further improvements allowed by the MSM framework will adopt a nonlinear formulation and explore next-generation data-adaptive decompositions, namely modification of Principal Oscillation Patterns (POPs) and rotated Multichannel Singular Spectrum Analysis (M-SSA).

  5. 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.

  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. Analysis on variability and trend in Antarctic sea ice albedo between 1983 and 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Minji; Kim, Hyun-cheol; Choi, Sungwon; Lee, Kyeong-sang; Han, Kyung-soo

    2017-04-01

    Sea ice is key parameter in order to understand the cryosphere climate change. Several studies indicate the different trend of sea ice between Antarctica and Arctic. Albedo is important factor for understanding the energy budget and factors for observing of environment changes of Cryosphere such as South Pole, due to it mainly covered by ice and snow with high albedo value. In this study, we analyzed variability and trend of long-term sea ice albedo data to understand the changes of sea ice over Antarctica. In addiction, sea ice albedo researched the relationship with Antarctic oscillation in order to determine the atmospheric influence. We used the sea ice albedo data at The Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring and Antarctic Oscillation data at NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC). We analyzed the annual trend in albedo using linear regression to understand the spatial and temporal tendency. Antarctic sea ice albedo has two spatial trend. Weddle sea / Ross sea sections represent a positive trend (0.26% ˜ 0.04% yr-1) and Bellingshausen Amundsen sea represents a negative trend (- 0.14 ˜ -0.25%yr-1). Moreover, we performed the correlation analysis between albedo and Antarctic oscillation. As a results, negative area indicate correlation coefficient of - 0.3639 and positive area indicates correlation coefficient of - 0.0741. Theses results sea ice albedo has regional trend according to ocean. Decreasing sea ice trend has negative relationship with Antarctic oscillation, its represent a possibility that sea ice influence atmospheric factor.

  8. [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.

  9. 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

  10. Sea-ice information co-management: Planning for sustainable multiple uses of ice-covered seas in a rapidly changing Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eicken, H.; Lovecraft, A. L.

    2012-12-01

    A thinner, less extensive and more mobile summer sea-ice cover is a major element and driver of Arctic Ocean change. Declining summer sea ice presents Arctic stakeholders with substantial challenges and opportunities from the perspective of sustainable ocean use and derivation of sea-ice or ecosystem services. Sea-ice use by people and wildlife as well as its role as a major environmental hazard focuses the interests and concerns of indigenous hunters and Arctic coastal communities, resource managers and the maritime industry. In particular, rapid sea-ice change and intensifying offshore industrial activities have raised fundamental questions as to how best to plan for and manage multiple and increasingly overlapping ocean and sea ice uses. The western North American Arctic - a region that has seen some of the greatest changes in ice and ocean conditions in the past three decades anywhere in the North - is the focus of our study. Specifically, we examine the important role that relevant and actionable sea-ice information can play in allowing stakeholders to evaluate risks and reconcile overlapping and potentially competing interests. Our work in coastal Alaska suggests that important prerequisites to address such challenges are common values, complementary bodies of expertise (e.g., local or indigenous knowledge, engineering expertise, environmental science) and a forum for the implementation and evaluation of a sea-ice data and information framework. Alongside the International Polar Year 2007-08 and an associated boost in Arctic Ocean observation programs and platforms, there has been a movement towards new governance bodies that have these qualities and can play a central role in guiding the design and optimization of Arctic observing systems. To help further the development of such forums an evaluation of the density and spatial distribution of institutions, i.e., rule sets that govern ocean use, as well as the use of scenario planning and analysis can serve as

  11. 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.

  12. An anisotropic, elastic-decohesive constitutive relation for modeling Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulsky, D.; Tran, H.; Schreyer, H.

    2016-12-01

    As high-resolution simulations become increasingly possible and popular, questions are being raised about isotropic constitutive models for sea ice that are based on averaging material behavior over 100 km scales. At finer resolutions, it may not be appropriate to average over concentrated deformations which occur in leads and ridges since small regions do not contain sufficient numbers of these features at arbitrary orientations to support the assumption of isotropy. An elastic-decohesive constitutive model for pack ice has been developed that explicitly accounts for leads. The constitutive model is based on elasticity combined with a cohesive crack law that predicts the initiation, orientation and opening of leads. This talk presents extensions of the original model that tie it more closely to the thermodynamics and thickness distribution. Before failure, sea ice itself is assumed to be described by isotropic elasticity. However, an element of ice composed of different thicknesses, including refrozen leads and/or ridges, is modeled as an equivalent anisotropic elastic material of uniform thickness. The classical rule-of-mixtures is applied for the ice `composite' having an oriented distribution of thickness to derive the moduli and the strengths of the equivalent material. At failure, a decohesive constitutive relation based on the traction on a potential crack plane is employed in the anisotropic material. Sample paths in stress and strain space are examined to illustrate the aspects of the model when simulating the failure of sea ice. Simulations with the improved model show how failure is influenced by the oriented thickness distribution, for example, by failure occurring preferentially in thin ice.

  13. The Effects of Changing Sea Ice on Marine Mammals and Their Hunters in Northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntington, H.; Quakenbush, L.; Nelson, M.

    2015-12-01

    Marine mammals are important sources of food for indigenous residents of northern Alaska. Changing sea ice patterns affect the animals themselves as well as access by hunters. Documenting the traditional knowledge of Iñupiaq and Yupik hunters concerning marine mammals and sea ice makes accessible a wide range of information and insight relevant to ecological understanding, conservation action, and the regulation of human activity. We interviewed hunters in villages from northern Bering Sea to the Beaufort Sea, focusing on bowhead whales, walrus, and ice seals. Hunters reported extensive changes in sea ice, with resulting effects on the timing of marine mammal migrations, the distribution and behavior of the animals, and the efficacy of certain hunting methods, for example the difficulty of finding ice thick enough to support a bowhead whale for butchering. At the same time, hunters acknowledged impacts and potential impacts from changing technology such as more powerful outboard engines and from industrial activity such as shipping and oil and gas development. Hunters have been able to adapt to some changes, for example by hunting bowhead whales in fall as well as spring on St. Lawrence Island, or by focusing their hunt in a shorter period in Nuiqsut to accommodate work schedules and worse weather. Other changes, such as reduced availability of ice seals due to rapid retreat of pack ice after spring break-up, continue to defy easy responses. Continued environmental changes, increased disturbance from human activity, and the introduction of new regulations for hunting may further challenge the ability of hunters to provide food as they have done to date, though innovation and flexibility may also provide new sources of adaptation.

  14. Sea ice thickness retrieval from L-band radiometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaleschke, L.; Maaß, N.; Hendricks, S.; Heygster, G.; Tonboe, R.

    2008-12-01

    Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) is an earth observation mission developed by the European Space Agency to be launched in 2009. The main objective is to provide global measurements of soil moisture over land and sea surface salinity over ocean from L-band (1.4 GHz) radiometric observations. An exciting spin-off is the retrieval of sea ice thickness which we demonstrate to be possible due to the large penetration depth at L-band. SMOS will provide sea ice thickness information complementary to those from altimeters because of the expected sensitivity for thin ice thickness variations. Moreover, SMOS will provide data with an almost global coverage every second day. A three layer (ocean-ice-atmosphere) dielectric slab model is used to calculate the brightness temperature as a function of ice thickness and the dielectric properties. The dielectric properties depend on the relative brine volume as a function of bulk salinity and temperature. A model for the brightness temperature of a mixture of open water and sea ice reveals that the parameters ice concentration and thickness can hardly be retrieved both simultaneously. With the assumption of a closed ice cover the retrieval of ice thickness is feasible. The model calculations suggest a thickness sensitivity of up to 150 cm for low salinity (multi year or brackish) sea ice at low temperatures. At temperatures approaching the melting point the thickness sensitivity reduces to a few centimeters. For first year ice the modeled thickness sensitivity is roughly half a meter. The brightness temperature at 1.4 GHz (L-band) was measured in the Bothnia in Bay in March 2007 as part of the SMOS Sea-Ice campaign. The research aircraft was equipped with the Technical University of Denmark (TUD) Electromagnetics Institute Radiometer (EMIRAD). The EMIRAD measurements were coordinated with helicopter EM ice thickness measurements. The campaign was conducted under non- favorable conditions with temperatures around the melting

  15. Modeling ocean wave propagation under sea ice covers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xin; Shen, Hayley H.; Cheng, Sukun

    2015-02-01

    Operational ocean wave models need to work globally, yet current ocean wave models can only treat ice-covered regions crudely. The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of ice effects on wave propagation and different research methodology used in studying these effects. Based on its proximity to land or sea, sea ice can be classified as: landfast ice zone, shear zone, and the marginal ice zone. All ice covers attenuate wave energy. Only long swells can penetrate deep into an ice cover. Being closest to open water, wave propagation in the marginal ice zone is the most complex to model. The physical appearance of sea ice in the marginal ice zone varies. Grease ice, pancake ice, brash ice, floe aggregates, and continuous ice sheet may be found in this zone at different times and locations. These types of ice are formed under different thermal-mechanical forcing. There are three classic models that describe wave propagation through an idealized ice cover: mass loading, thin elastic plate, and viscous layer models. From physical arguments we may conjecture that mass loading model is suitable for disjoint aggregates of ice floes much smaller than the wavelength, thin elastic plate model is suitable for a continuous ice sheet, and the viscous layer model is suitable for grease ice. For different sea ice types we may need different wave ice interaction models. A recently proposed viscoelastic model is able to synthesize all three classic models into one. Under suitable limiting conditions it converges to the three previous models. The complete theoretical framework for evaluating wave propagation through various ice covers need to be implemented in the operational ocean wave models. In this review, we introduce the sea ice types, previous wave ice interaction models, wave attenuation mechanisms, the methods to calculate wave reflection and transmission between different ice covers, and the effect of ice floe breaking on shaping the sea ice morphology

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Ocean circulation and sea-ice thinning induced by melting ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jourdain, Nicolas C.; Mathiot, Pierre; Merino, Nacho; Durand, Gaël.; Le Sommer, Julien; Spence, Paul; Dutrieux, Pierre; Madec, Gurvan

    2017-03-01

    A 1/12° ocean model configuration of the Amundsen Sea sector is developed to better understand the circulation induced by ice-shelf melt and the impacts on the surrounding ocean and sea ice. Eighteen sensitivity experiments to drag and heat exchange coefficients at the ice shelf/ocean interface are performed. The total melt rate simulated in each cavity is function of the thermal Stanton number, and for a given thermal Stanton number, melt is slightly higher for lower values of the drag coefficient. Sub-ice-shelf melt induces a thermohaline circulation that pumps warm circumpolar deep water into the cavity. The related volume flux into a cavity is 100-500 times stronger than the melt volume flux itself. Ice-shelf melt also induces a coastal barotropic current that contributes 45 ± 12% of the total simulated coastal transport. Due to the presence of warm circumpolar deep waters, the melt-induced inflow typically brings 4-20 times more heat into the cavities than the latent heat required for melt. For currently observed melt rates, approximately 6-31% of the heat that enters a cavity with melting potential is actually used to melt ice shelves. For increasing sub-ice-shelf melt rates, the transport in the cavity becomes stronger, and more heat is pumped from the deep layers to the upper part of the cavity then advected toward the ocean surface in front of the ice shelf. Therefore, more ice-shelf melt induces less sea-ice volume near the ice sheet margins.Plain Language SummaryThe ice-shelf cavities of the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica, act as very powerful pumps that create strong inflows of warm water under the ice-shelves, as well as significant circulation changes in the entire region. Such warm inflows bring more heat than required to melt ice, so that a large part of that heat exits ice-shelf cavities without being used. Due to mixing between warm deep waters and melt freshwater, melt-induced flows are warm and buoyant when they leave cavities. Therefore, they reach

  20. 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 concentrations derived from satellite microwave brightness temperatures are less accurate during summer. In the Arctic Ocean the lack of accuracy is primarily caused by melt ponds, but also by changes in the properties of snow and the sea-ice surface itself. We investigate the sensitivity...... the variation of the sensitivity to the melt-pond fraction across the algorithms to a different sensitivity of the brightness temperatures to snow-property variations. We find an underestimation of the sea-ice concentration by between 14 % (Bootstrap_f) and 26 % (Bootstrap_p) for 100 % sea ice with a melt...... % 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...

  1. 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

    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......Frost flowers are transient crystal structures that form on new and young sea ice surfaces. They have been implicated in a variety of biological, chemical and physical processes and interactions with the atmosphere at the sea ice surface. We describe the atmospheric and radiative conditions...... calm wind conditions. The sea ice surface temperature at the time of frost flower initiation was 10-13°C warmer than the air temperature. Frost flowers grew on nodules raised above the mean surface height by 5 mm, which were 4-6°C colder than the bare, brine-wetted, highly saline sea ice surface...

  2. Extreme ecological response of a seabird community to unprecedented sea ice cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbraud, Christophe; Delord, Karine; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-05-01

    Climate change has been predicted to reduce Antarctic sea ice but, instead, sea ice surrounding Antarctica has expanded over the past 30 years, albeit with contrasted regional changes. Here we report a recent extreme event in sea ice conditions in East Antarctica and investigate its consequences on a seabird community. In early 2014, the Dumont d'Urville Sea experienced the highest magnitude sea ice cover (76.8%) event on record (1982-2013: range 11.3-65.3%; mean±95% confidence interval: 27.7% (23.1-32.2%)). Catastrophic effects were detected in the breeding output of all sympatric seabird species, with a total failure for two species. These results provide a new view crucial to predictive models of species abundance and distribution as to how extreme sea ice events might impact an entire community of top predators in polar marine ecosystems in a context of expanding sea ice in eastern Antarctica.

  3. The big melt: Is the loss of Arctic sea ice unstoppable?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notz, Dirk

    2010-05-01

    We discuss the recent evolution of Arctic sea-ice extent and give some overview of its possible future development. First, we analyse possible causes of the recent retreat, showing that the available data of sea-ice extent is sufficient to virtually rule out the possibility that natural variability was responsible for the sea-ice minimum in 2007. Focussing on the partial recovery of sea ice in summer 2008 and 2009, we show that despite the ice-albedo feedback, such partial recovery is likely to occur after an extreme minimum of sea-ice extent. In particular, we discuss some negative feedbacks that stabilize the ice cover. Finally, we briefly discuss what these findings mean for the predictability of the future sea-ice evolution.

  4. Sea Ice Trends in Climate Models Only Accurate in Runs with Biased Global Warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblum, Erica; Eisenman, Ian

    2017-08-01

    Observations indicate that the Arctic sea ice cover is rapidly retreating while the Antarctic sea ice cover is steadily expanding. State-of-the-art climate models, by contrast, typically simulate a moderate decrease in both the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice covers. However, in each hemisphere there is a small subset of model simulations that have sea ice trends similar to the observations. Based on this, a number of recent studies have suggested that the models are consistent with the observations in each hemisphere when simulated internal climate variability is taken into account. Here we examine sea ice changes during 1979-2013 in simulations from the most recent Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) as well as the Community Earth System Model Large Ensemble (CESM-LE), drawing on previous work that found a close relationship in climate models between global-mean surface temperature and sea ice extent. We find that all of the simulations with 1979-2013 Arctic sea ice retreat as fast as observed have considerably more global warming than observations during this time period. Using two separate methods to estimate the sea ice retreat that would occur under the observed level of global warming in each simulation in both ensembles, we find that simulated Arctic sea ice retreat as fast as observed would occur less than 1% of the time. This implies that the models are not consistent with the observations. In the Antarctic, we find that simulated sea ice expansion as fast as observed typically corresponds with too little global warming, although these results are more equivocal. We show that because of this, the simulations do not capture the observed asymmetry between Arctic and Antarctic sea ice trends. This suggests that the models may be getting the right sea ice trends for the wrong reasons in both polar regions.

  5. Interaction between Antarctic sea ice and synoptic activity in the circumpolar trough

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlosser, Elisabeth

    2010-05-01

    Different from conditions in the Arctic, total Antarctic sea ice extent does not show large interannual variability and almost no long-term trend is found. On a regional/monthly scale, however, large differences are observed, depending on winds and oceanic currents, thus on the prevailing synoptic weather situation. At the same time, the sea ice influences atmospheric conditions: presence of sea ice considerably changes the energy exchange between ocean and atmosphere, thus the meridional air temperature gradient, which is usually strongest at the sea ice edge. This leads to high baroclinicity in this area and thus favours cyclogenesis. The position and movement of low pressure systems, in turn, together with the local heat balance, determines sea ice extent and concentration. Divergence and convergence of sea ice also depends on the position of the circumpolar trough relative to the sea ice edge, since its position determines whether the atmospheric flow is predominantly easterly or westerly, which leads to sea ice transport to the southwest or the northeast, respectively. The circumpolar trough is usually situated closer to the coast in spring and autumn and moves north in summer and winter. In this study, meteorological data from the ECMWF ERA-interim reanalysis as well as sea ice extent and concentration derived from passive microwave data (SSMI/SMMR) are used to investigate the interactions between Antarctic sea ice and synoptic activity in the polar ocean. Special consideration is given to the frequency of regional sea ice minima and warm air advection from lower latitudes. A stable synoptic situation with amplified Rossby waves can lead to regional extrema in sea ice extent. An extreme case was observed in the austral summer of 2001/2002 in the Weddell Sea, when continuous northwesterly winds removed the ice from the northwestern part of the Weddell Sea and drove it to the coast of Coats Land, where usually coastal polynyas are observed in summer.

  6. An Innovative Network to Improve Sea Ice Prediction in a Changing Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    B) sea ice volume. The EXP ensemble is initialized with 1/5 of CNTL snow depths, thus resulting in a reduced snow cover and lower summer albedo ...thicker is thought to be predictable for a longer time period than thinner sea ice. In our experiments, we investigated how changes in snow cover affect...predictability in the CESM1. Snow cover may be particularly relevant to summer sea ice predictability, as it affects surface radiative fluxes and

  7. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Brown, TA; Galicia, MP; Thiemann, GW; Belt, ST; Yurkowski, DJ; Dyck, MG

    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 ...

  9. Surface energy budget of landfast sea ice during the transitions from winter to snowmelt and melt pond onset

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Else, B.G.T.; Papakyriakou, T.N.; Raddatz, R.

    2014-01-01

    Relatively few sea ice energy balance studies have successfully captured the transition season of warming, snowmelt, and melt pond formation. In this paper, we report a surface energy budget for landfast sea ice that captures this important period. The study was conducted in the Canadian Arctic......) combined with the seasonal increase in incoming shortwave radiation then triggered snowmelt onset. Melt progressed with a rapid reduction in albedo and attendant increases in shortwave energy absorption, resulting in melt pond formation 8 days later. The key role of longwave radiation in initiating melt...... onset supports past findings, and confirms the importance of clouds and water vapor associated with synoptic weather systems. However, we also observed a period of strong turbulent energy exchange associated with the passage of a cyclone. The cyclone event occurred shortly after melt pond formation...

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. Estimation of Arctic Sea Ice Freeboard and Thickness Using CryoSat-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, S.; Im, J.; Kim, J. W.; Kim, M.; Shin, M.

    2014-12-01

    Arctic sea ice is one of the significant components of the global climate system as it plays a significant role in driving global ocean circulation. Sea ice extent has constantly declined since 1980s. Arctic sea ice thickness has also been diminishing along with the decreasing sea ice extent. Because extent and thickness, two main characteristics of sea ice, are important indicators of the polar response to on-going climate change. Sea ice thickness has been measured with numerous field techniques such as surface drilling and deploying buoys. These techniques provide sparse and discontinuous data in spatiotemporal domain. Spaceborne radar and laser altimeters can overcome these limitations and have been used to estimate sea ice thickness. Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICEsat), a laser altimeter provided data to detect polar area elevation change between 2003 and 2009. CryoSat-2 launched with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)/Interferometric Radar Altimeter (SIRAL) in April 2010 can provide data to estimate time-series of Arctic sea ice thickness. In this study, Arctic sea ice freeboard and thickness between 2011 and 2014 were estimated using CryoSat-2 SAR and SARIn mode data that have sea ice surface height relative to the reference ellipsoid WGS84. In order to estimate sea ice thickness, freeboard, i.e., elevation difference between the top of sea ice surface should be calculated. Freeboard can be estimated through detecting leads. We proposed a novel lead detection approach. CryoSat-2 profiles such as pulse peakiness, backscatter sigma-0, stack standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis were examined to distinguish leads from sea ice. Near-real time cloud-free MODIS images corresponding to CryoSat-2 data measured were used to visually identify leads. Rule-based machine learning approaches such as See5.0 and random forest were used to identify leads. The proposed lead detection approach better distinguished leads from sea ice than the existing approaches

  13. Abnormal Winter Melting of the Arctic Sea Ice Cap Observed by the Spaceborne Passive Microwave Sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seongsuk; Yi, Yu

    2016-12-01

    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 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 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 f