Title Observations of recent Arctic sea ice volume loss and its impact on ocean- atmosphere energy exchange and ice production
Author Kurtz, N.T.; Markus, T.; Farrell, S.L.; Worthen, D.L.; Boisvert, L.N.
Author Affil Kurtz, N.T., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, Baltimore, MD. Other: NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center
Source Journal of Geophysical Research, 116(C4), Citation C04015. Publisher: American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States. ISSN: 0148-0227
Publication Date 2011
Notes In English. 42 refs. GeoRef Acc. No: 309719
Index Terms climatic change; ice; melting; snow; temperature; thermodynamic properties; thickness; volume; Arctic Ocean; air-sea interface; atmosphere; climate change; dynamics; ICESat; observations; satellite methods; sea ice; seasonal variations; spatial distribution
Abstract Using recently developed techniques we estimate snow and sea ice thickness distributions for the Arctic basin through the combination of freeboard data from the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) and a snow depth model. These data are used with meteorological data and a thermodynamic sea ice model to calculate ocean-atmosphere heat exchange and ice volume production during the 2003-2008 fall and winter seasons. The calculated heat fluxes and ice growth rates are in agreement with previous observations over multiyear ice. In this study, we calculate heat fluxes and ice growth rates for the full distribution of ice thicknesses covering the Arctic basin and determine the impact of ice thickness change on the calculated values. Thinning of the sea ice is observed which greatly increases the 2005-2007 fall period ocean-atmosphere heat fluxes compared to those observed in 2003. Although there was also a decline in sea ice thickness for the winter periods, the winter time heat flux was found to be less impacted by the observed changes in ice thickness. A large increase in the net Arctic ocean- atmosphere heat output is also observed in the fall periods due to changes in the areal coverage of sea ice. The anomalously low sea ice coverage in 2007 led to a net ocean- atmosphere heat output approximately 3 times greater than was observed in previous years and suggests that sea ice losses are now playing a role in increasing surface air temperatures in the Arctic.
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10.1029/2010JC006235
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 65006382