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West Antarctic Peninsula sea ice in 2005: Extreme ice compaction and ice edge retreat due to strong anomaly with respect to climate


Massom, RA and Stammerjohn, SE and Lefebvre, W and Harangozo, SA and Adams, ND and Scambos, TA and Pook, MJ and Fowler, C, West Antarctic Peninsula sea ice in 2005: Extreme ice compaction and ice edge retreat due to strong anomaly with respect to climate, Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, (C02S20) pp. 1-23. ISSN 0148-0227 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1029/2007JC004239


In September-October 2005, the juxtaposition of low- and high-pressure anomalies at 130W and 60W, respectively, created strong and persistent northerly airflow across the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). This had a major impact on regional sea ice conditions, with extreme ice compaction in the Bellingshausen and East Amundsen seas (60W130W) but divergence in the West Amundsen and East Ross seas. This resulted in the former in a highly compact marginal ice zone and ice cover, mean modeled ice thicknesses of >5 m, and an earlier-than-average maximum extent (mid-August). While rapid ice retreat in late winter-spring created a major negative ice extent anomaly, compact ice persisted in the subsequent summer. Other effects were anomalies in air temperature (of +1C to +5C) and precipitation rates (to >2.5 mm/d). The patterns in late 2005 are consistent with the occurrence of a weak La Nina and a near-neutral Southern Annular Mode, with a quasi-stationary zonal wave three pattern dominating hemispheric atmospheric circulation. Once a compact ice edge was created, it took only one additional week of strong winds to "solidify" the pack in place. Conditions in 2005 are analyzed in the context of 1979 2005 and compared with the springs of 1993, 1997, 1999, 2001, and 2004. A statistically significant increase of the northerly 10-m wind component between 110W and 125W occurred in the Septembers of 1979 2005. No clear trends occur in other spring months. This work underlines the key importance of ice dynamics in recent changes in the WAP sea ice regime.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:West Antarctic Peninsula, sea ice
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Physical geography and environmental geoscience not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Oceanic processes (excl. in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean)
UTAS Author:Massom, RA (Dr Robert Massom)
UTAS Author:Adams, ND (Dr Neil Adams)
ID Code:54220
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:55
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2009-02-12
Last Modified:2022-07-06

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