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Extreme intra-seasonal anomalies in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen sea-ice area, Antarctica, during the austral winter

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We examine the role of the propagation of atmospheric mid-latitudes wave trains in modulating the Amundsen and Bellingshausen sea-ice area (SIA), Antarctica, on intra-seasonal timescales (20–100 days). Spectral analysis of passive microwave estimates of SIA in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas for 1979–2004 shows significant peaks on intra-seasonal timescales. Previous studies have suggested that variations in SIA are linked to disturbances in atmospheric circulation and sea surface temperature. We show that extreme SIA anomalies on intra-seasonal timescales lag the propagation of subtropical wave trains in the Southern Hemisphere by approximately 10–15 days. The sign of the SIA anomaly depends on the phase of the wave. We present evidence that the number of disturbances that cause extreme anomalies of SIA on intra-seasonal timescales has increased in the last 14 years.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2008

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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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