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]
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 Nin˜a 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 19792005 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 19792005. 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.