Title Variability and trends in sea ice extent and ice production in the Ross Sea
Author Comiso, J.C.; Kwok, R.; Martin, S.; Gordon, A.L.
Author Affil Comiso, J.C., NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Cryospheric Scientific Branch, Greenbelt, MD. Other: Jet Propulsion Laboratory; University of Washington, Seattle; Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Source Journal of Geophysical Research, 116(C4), Citation C04021. Publisher: American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States. ISSN: 0148-0227
Publication Date 2011
Notes In English. NSF Grant ANT-0538148. 49 refs. GeoRef Acc. No: 309718. CRREL Acc. No: 65006383
Index Terms advection; glacial geology; ice; ice cover; ice cover thickness; glacier flow; melting; thickness; volume; Antarctica-- Amundsen Sea; Southern Ocean--Ross Sea; Amundsen Sea; annual variations; Antarctica; bottom water; ice drift; ice movement; ocean circulation; production; Ross Sea; salinization; sea ice; seasonal variations; Southern Ocean; thermohaline circulation; transport
Abstract Salt release during sea ice formation in the Ross Sea coastal regions is regarded as a primary forcing for the regional generation of Antarctic Bottom Water. Passive microwave data from November 1978 through 2008 are used to examine the detailed seasonal and interannual characteristics of the sea ice cover of the Ross Sea and the adjacent Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas. For this period the sea ice extent in the Ross Sea shows the greatest increase of all the Antarctic seas. Variability in the ice cover in these regions is linked to changes in the Southern Annular Mode and secondarily to the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave. Over the Ross Sea shelf, analysis of sea ice drift data from 1992 to 2008 yields a positive rate of increase in the net ice export of about 30,000 km2 yr-1. For a characteristic ice thickness of 0.6 m, this yields a volume transport of about 20 km3 yr-1, which is almost identical, within error bars, to our estimate of the trend in ice production. The increase in brine rejection in the Ross Shelf Polynya associated with the estimated increase with the ice production, however, is not consistent with the reported Ross Sea salinity decrease. The locally generated sea ice enhancement of Ross Sea salinity may be offset by an increase of relatively low salinity of the water advected into the region from the Amundsen Sea, a consequence of increased precipitation and regional glacial ice melt.
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10.1029/2010JC006391
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 91377