eCite Digital Repository

Change and variability in Antarctic coastal exposure, 1979-2020


Reid, PA and Massom, RA, Change and variability in Antarctic coastal exposure, 1979-2020, Nature Communications, 13, (1) Article 1164. ISSN 2041-1723 (2022) [Refereed Article]

PDF (Published version)

Copyright Statement

© The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41467-022-28676-z


Increased exposure of Antarctica’s coastal environment to open ocean and waves due to loss of a protective sea-ice "buffer" has important ramifications for ice-shelf stability, coastal erosion, important ice-ocean-atmosphere interactions and shallow benthic ecosystems. Here, we introduce a climate and environmental metric based on the ongoing long-term satellite sea-ice concentration record, namely Coastal Exposure Length. This is a daily measure of change and variability in the length and incidence of Antarctic coastline lacking any protective sea-ice buffer offshore. For 1979–2020, ~50% of Antarctica’s ~17,850-km coastline had no sea ice offshore each summer, with minimal exposure in winter. Regional summer/maximum contributions vary from 45% (Amundsen-Bellingshausen seas) to 58% (Indian Ocean and Ross Sea), with circumpolar annual exposure ranging from 38% (2019) to 63% (1993). The annual maximum length of Antarctic coastal exposure decreased by ~30 km (~0.32%) per year for 1979–2020, composed of distinct regional and seasonal contributions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Antarctica, sea-ice
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Other environmental sciences
Research Field:Other environmental sciences not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Reid, PA (Dr Phillip Reid)
UTAS Author:Massom, RA (Dr Robert Massom)
ID Code:154018
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Australian Antarctic Program Partnership
Deposited On:2022-10-24
Last Modified:2022-11-28
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page