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Investigating the anomalous sea-ice conditions in the Canadian High Arctic (Queen Elizabeth Islands) during summer 1998

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The Queen Elizabeth Islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago exhibit one of the most complex sea-ice regimes in the Northern Hemisphere. Time series of minimum monthly passive-microwave sea-ice area (1979–98), minimum sea-ice extent, melting degree-days (1961–98) and minimum sea ice from the new Canadian Ice Service digital database (1968–98) are examined. The extreme nature of the amount of sea-ice melt in the summers of 1998 and 1962 is evident in these time series. The 38 year record of minimum ice, to date, shows no significant trend. Details of the sea-ice behavior during summer 1998 were then examined within 13 individual sea-ice regimes. The multi-year fast-ice plugs in both Sverdrup Channel and Nansen Sound broke up and became truly mobile in 1998. Discussion focuses on the areas surrounding the multi-year plugs, relating sea-ice conditions to weather. Results emphasize the importance of the timing of synoptic events in combination with strong thermal preconditioning in determining the sea-ice conditions in this area during summer 1998.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2001

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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