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Recent Changes in Arctic Sea Ice Melt Onset, Freeze-Up, and Melt Season LengthIn order to explore changes and trends in the timing of Arctic sea ice melt onset and freeze-up and therefore melt season length, we developed a method that obtains this information directly from satellite passive microwave data, creating a consistent data set from 1979 through present. We furthermore distinguish between early melt (the first day of the year when melt is detected) and the first day of continuous melt. A similar distinction is made for the freeze-up. Using this method we analyze trends in melt onset and freeze-up for 10 different Arctic regions. In all regions except for the Sea of Okhotsk, which shows a very slight and statistically insignificant positive trend (O.4 days/decade), trends in melt onset are negative, i.e. towards earlier melt. The trends range from -1.0day/decade for the Bering Sea to -7.3 days/decade for the East Greenland Sea. Except for the Sea of Okhotsk all areas also show a trend towards later autumn freeze onset. The Chukchi/Beaufort Seas and Laptev/East Siberian Seas observe the strongest trends with 7 days/decade. For the entire Arctic, the melt season length has increased by about 20 days over the last 30 years. Largest trends of over 1O days/decade are seen for Hudson Bay, the East Greenland Sea the Laptev/East Siberian Seas, and the Chukchi/Beaufort Seas. Those trends are statistically significant a1 the 99% level.
Document ID
20100030621
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Authors
Markus, Thorsten (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Stroeve, Julienne C. (Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Miller, Jeffrey (Wyle Information Systems, LLC Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2010
Subject Category
Oceanography
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other