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Potential regime shift in decreased sea ice production after the Mertz Glacier calving


Tamura, T and Williams, GD and Fraser, AD and Ohshima, KI, Potential regime shift in decreased sea ice production after the Mertz Glacier calving, Nature Communications, 3 Article 826. ISSN 2041-1723 (2012) [Refereed Article]


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Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

DOI: doi:10.1038/ncomms1820


Variability in dense shelf water formation can potentially impact Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) production, a vital component of the global climate system. In East Antarctica, the George V Land polynya system (142–150°E) is structured by the local ‘icescape’, promoting sea ice formation that is driven by the offshore wind regime. Here we present the first observations of this region after the repositioning of a large iceberg (B9B) precipitated the calving of the Mertz Glacier Tongue in 2010. Using satellite data, we find that the total sea ice production for the region in 2010 and 2011 was 144 and 134 km3, respectively, representing a 14–20% decrease from a value of 168 km3 averaged from 2000–2009. This abrupt change to the regional icescape could result in decreased polynya activity, sea ice production, and ultimately the dense shelf water export and AABW production from this region for the coming decades.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:sea ice production, Mertz Glacier, calving
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Antarctic and Southern Ocean oceanic processes
UTAS Author:Tamura, T (Dr Takeshi Tamura)
UTAS Author:Williams, GD (Mr Guy Williams)
UTAS Author:Fraser, AD (Dr Alex Fraser)
ID Code:78227
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:66
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2012-06-18
Last Modified:2017-10-31
Downloads:528 View Download Statistics

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