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A review of recent changes in Southern Ocean sea ice, their drivers and forcings


Hobbs, WR and Massom, R and Stammerjohn, S and Reid, P and Williams, G and Meier, W, A review of recent changes in Southern Ocean sea ice, their drivers and forcings, Global and Planetary Change, 143 pp. 228-250. ISSN 0921-8181 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2016.06.008


Over the past 37 years, satellite records show an increase in Antarctic sea ice cover that is most pronounced in the period of sea ice growth. This trend is dominated by increased sea ice coverage in the western Ross Sea, and is mitigated by a strong decrease in the Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas. The trends in sea ice areal coverage are accompanied by related trends in yearly duration. These changes have implications for ecosystems, as well as global and regional climate. In this review, we summarise the research to date on observing these trends, identifying their drivers, and assessing the role of anthropogenic climate change. Whilst the atmosphere is thought to be the primary driver, the ocean is also essential in explaining the seasonality of the trend patterns. Detecting an anthropogenic signal in Antarctic sea ice is particularly challenging for a number of reasons: the expected response is small compared to the very high natural variability of the system; the observational record is relatively short; and the ability of global coupled climate models to faithfully represent the complex Antarctic climate system is in doubt.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:sea ice, Antarctic, climate change, modelling
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Hobbs, WR (Dr Will Hobbs)
UTAS Author:Massom, R (Dr Robert Massom)
UTAS Author:Reid, P (Dr Phillip Reid)
UTAS Author:Williams, G (Mr Guy Williams)
ID Code:109487
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:139
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2016-06-20
Last Modified:2022-08-29

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