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The role of atmospheric circulation in the growth of sea-ice extent in marginal seas around the Arctic Ocean

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Satellite data of weekly sea-ice extent and monthly means of objectively analyzed upper-air observation for the years 1978–95 are analyzed in order to investigate the role of atmospheric circulation in the growth of sea-ice extent in five marginal seas around the Arctic Ocean. It has been found that in all the regions the sea ice advances when a cold wind blows from the land (or from the Arctic ice field) to the region, whereas it hardly advances (or it retreats) when a warm wind blows over the region. Whether the wind is favorable or unfavorable for sea-ice growth depends on the position and intensity of the Icelandic low in the Atlantic sector and of the Aleutian low in the Pacific sector. This leads to a negative correlation in ice growth between the western region (Labrador or Okhotsk Sea) and the eastern region (Barents or Bering Sea). Significant correlations are also found across the continents, that is, positive correlations between the Barents Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, and between the Labrador and Bering Seas. These teleconnections of ice growth can be explained by taking into account an observed negative correlation between the activities of the Icelandic low and Aleutian low.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2005

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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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