Unprecedented springtime retreat of Antarctic sea ice in 2016

John Turner, Tony Phillips, Gareth J. Marshall, J. Scott Hosking, James O. Pope, Thomas J. Bracegirdle, Pranab Deb

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Abstract

During austral spring 2016 Antarctic sea ice extent (SIE) decreased at a record rate of 75 x 10(3) km(2) d(-1), which was 46% faster than the mean rate and 18% faster than in any previous spring season during the satellite era. The decrease of sea ice area was also exceptional and 28% greater than the mean. Anomalous negative retreat occurred in all sectors of the Antarctic but was greatest in the Weddell and Ross Seas. Record negative SIE anomalies for the day of year were recorded from 3 November 2016 to 9 April 2017. Rapid ice retreat in the Weddell Sea took place in strong northerly flow after an early maximum ice extent in late August. Rapid ice retreat occurred in November in the Ross Sea when surface pressure was at a record high level, with the Southern Annular Mode at its most negative for that month since 1968.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6868-6875
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume44
Issue number13
Early online date20 Jun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • MODEL SIMULATIONS
  • ANNULAR MODE
  • EXTENT
  • OCEAN
  • VARIABILITY
  • TRENDS
  • MAXIMUM
  • CYCLE

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