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Anomalies of sea-ice transports in the Arctic

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In the Arctic, sea-ice motion and ice export are prominent processes and good indicators of Arctic climate system variability. Sea-ice drift is simulated using a dynamic–thermodynamic sea-ice model, validated with retrievals from SSM/I satellite observations. Both datasets agree well in reproducing the main Arctic drift patterns. In order to study inner Arctic transports and ice volume anomalies, the Arctic Ocean is split by ten boundaries, separating the central Arctic Ocean from the Nordic and marginal seas. It is found that the already dominant sea-ice export through Fram Strait has increased at the expense of export through the Barents Sea in the most recent years investigated. Furthermore, ice export from the Eurasian marginal seas increased slightly, followed by greater ice production during the winter. In contrast to this, the sea-ice volume moved within the Beaufort Gyre distinctly decreased. In total, the ice volume in the central Arctic decreased during the 40 year period covered by this study. The changes in the ice volume correspond to two wind-driven circulation regimes of the Arctic sea-ice motion, which recur approximately every 11 years. For the volume anomalies we derived a correlation of −0.59 to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index, lagging the NAO by 2 years.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2006-11-01

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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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