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Return of the Maud Rise Polynya: climate litmus or sea ice anomaly? [in “State of the Climate in 2017”]


Swart, S and Campbell, EC and Heuze, CH and Johnson, K and Lieser, JL and Massom, R and Mazloff, M and Meredith, M and Reid, P and Sallee, J-B and Stammerjohn, S, Return of the Maud Rise Polynya: climate litmus or sea ice anomaly? [in 'State of the Climate in 2017'], Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 99, (8) pp. 188-189. ISSN 0003-0007 (2018) [Refereed Article]



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DOI: doi:10.1175/2018BAMSStateoftheClimate.1


The Maud Rise polynya is a persistent area of open water within the sea ice cover of the Southern Ocean, which overlies an area of elevated topography called Maud Rise (66°S, 3°E) located in the eastern sector of the Weddell Sea (Fig. SB6.1a). It is termed a "Weddell polynya" if it grows and migrates westward into the central Weddell Sea. This larger sized polynya was first observed in satellite data in 1974 and recurred for each of the two subsequent austral winters (Zwally and Gloersen 1977; Carsey 1980). Its large size, ∼300 000 km2, meant that it could contribute strongly to the transfer of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere in winter and, hence, instigate dense water production and the renewal of deep ocean waters in the Weddell Sea (Gordon 1978). The amount of deep water formed via this route was estimated at 1–3 Sverdrups (Martinson et al. 1981). The 1974–76 polynya may have been responsible for up to 34% of observed warming of the deep Southern Ocean (Zanowski et al. 2015). Smaller features, perhaps associated with topographically driven upwelling of warm waters, have been observed subsequently (Comiso and Gordon 1987), but a large polynya had not re-appeared until recently and unexpectedly during austral winters 2016 and 2017.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:State of the Climate 2017, Maud Rise, polynya
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Physical geography and environmental geoscience not elsewhere classified
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:Lieser, JL (Dr Jan Lieser)
UTAS Author:Massom, R (Dr Robert Massom)
UTAS Author:Reid, P (Dr Phillip Reid)
ID Code:127528
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2018-08-02
Last Modified:2022-12-06
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