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Satellite Observations of Antarctic Sea Ice Thickness and VolumeWe utilize satellite laser altimetry data from ICESat combined with passive microwave measurements to analyze basin-wide changes in Antarctic sea ice thickness and volume over a 5 year period from 2003-2008. Sea ice thickness exhibits a small negative trend while area increases in the summer and fall balanced losses in thickness leading to small overall volume changes. Using a five year time-series, we show that only small ice thickness changes of less than -0.03 m/yr and volume changes of -266 cu km/yr and 160 cu km/yr occurred for the spring and summer periods, respectively. The calculated thickness and volume trends are small compared to the observational time period and interannual variability which masks the determination of long-term trend or cyclical variability in the sea ice cover. These results are in stark contrast to the much greater observed losses in Arctic sea ice volume and illustrate the different hemispheric changes of the polar sea ice covers in recent years.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Kurtz, Nathan (Morgan State Univ. Baltimore, MD, United States)
Markus, Thorsten (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 26, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2012
Subject Category
Meteorology and Climatology
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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