NASA Logo

NTRS

NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Variability of Antarctic Sea Ice 1979-1998The principal characteristics of the variability of Antarctic sea ice cover as previously described from satellite passive-microwave observations are also evident in a systematically-calibrated and analyzed data set for 20.2 years (1979-1998). The total Antarctic sea ice extent (concentration > 15 %) increased by 13,440 +/- 4180 sq km/year (+1.18 +/- 0.37%/decade). The area of sea ice within the extent boundary increased by 16,960 +/- 3,840 sq km/year (+1.96 +/- 0.44%/decade). Regionally, the trends in extent are positive in the Weddell Sea (1.5 +/- 0.9%/decade), Pacific Ocean (2.4 +/- 1.4%/decade), and Ross (6.9 +/- 1.1 %/decade) sectors, slightly negative in the Indian Ocean (-1.5 +/- 1.8%/decade, and strongly negative in the Bellingshausen-Amundsen Seas sector (-9.5 +/- 1.5%/decade). For the entire ice pack, small ice increases occur in all seasons with the largest increase during autumn. On a regional basis, the trends differ season to season. During summer and fall, the trends are positive or near zero in all sectors except the Bellingshausen-Amundsen Seas sector. During winter and spring, the trends are negative or near zero in all sectors except the Ross Sea, which has positive trends in all seasons. Components of interannual variability with periods of about 3 to 5 years are regionally large, but tend to counterbalance each other in the total ice pack. The interannual variability of the annual mean sea-ice extent is only 1.6% overall, compared to 5% to 9% in each of five regional sectors. Analysis of the relation between regional sea ice extents and spatially-averaged surface temperatures over the ice pack gives an overall sensitivity between winter ice cover and temperature of -0.7% change in sea ice extent per K. For summer, some regional ice extents vary positively with temperature and others negatively. The observed increase in Antarctic sea ice cover is counter to the observed decreases in the Arctic. It is also qualitatively consistent with the counterintuitive prediction of a global atmospheric-ocean model of increasing sea ice around Antarctica with climate warming due to the stabilizing effects of increased snowfall on the Southern Ocean.
Document ID
20010100393
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Authors
Zwally, H. Jay
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Comiso, Josefino C.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Parkinson, Claire L.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Cavalieri, Donald J.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Gloersen, Per
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Koblinsky, Chester J.
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
January 3, 2001
Subject Category
Oceanography
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

Available Downloads

NameType 20010100393.pdf STI
No Preview Available