Warm Arctic, increased winter sea-ice growth?

Last modified: 
October 10, 2018 - 10:45am
Tags: 
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2018
Date published: 10/2018
Authors: Alek Petty, Marika Holland, David Bailey, Nathan Kurtz
Journal title: Geophysical Research Letters

We explore current variability and future projections of winter Arctic sea ice thickness and growth using data from climate models and satellite observations. Winter ice thickness in the Community Earth System Model's Large Ensemble (CESM‐LE) compare well against thickness estimates from the Pan‐Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) and CryoSat‐2, despite some significant regional differences ‐ e.g. a high thickness bias in CESM‐LE in the western Arctic. Differences across the available CryoSat‐2 thickness products hinder more robust validation efforts. We assess the importance of the negative conductive feedback of sea ice growth (thinner ice grows faster) by regressing October atmosphere/ice/ocean conditions against winter ice growth. Our regressions demonstrate the importance of a strong negative conductive feedback process in our current climate, that increases winter growth for thinner initial ice, but indicate that later in the 21st century this negative feedback is overwhelmed by variations in the fall atmosphere/ocean state.

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