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Return of the Maud Rise Polynya: climate litmus or sea ice anomaly? [in “State of the Climate in 2017”]


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Swart, S, Campbell, EC, Heuze, CH, Johnson, K, Lieser, JL ORCID: 0000-0001-6870-1311, Massom, R, Mazloff, M, Meredith, M, Reid, P, Sallee, J-B and Stammerjohn, S 2018 , 'Return of the Maud Rise Polynya: climate litmus or sea ice anomaly? [in “State of the Climate in 2017”]' , Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, vol. 99, no. 8 , S188-S189 , doi: 10.1175/2018BAMSStateoftheClimate.1.

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The Maud Rise polynya is a persistent area of open waterwithin the sea ice cover of the Southern Ocean, which overliesan area of elevated topography called Maud Rise (66°S, 3°E)located in the eastern sector of the Weddell Sea (Fig. SB6.1a).It is termed a “Weddell polynya” if it grows and migrates westwardinto the central Weddell Sea. This larger sized polynyawas first observed in satellite data in 1974 and recurred for eachof the two subsequent austral winters (Zwally and Gloersen1977; Carsey 1980). Its large size, ~300 000 km2, meant thatit could contribute strongly to the transfer of heat from theocean to the atmosphere in winter and, hence, instigate densewater production and the renewal of deep ocean waters in theWeddell Sea (Gordon 1978). The amount of deep water formedvia this route was estimated at 1–3 Sverdrups (Martinson etal. 1981). The 1974–76 polynya may have been responsible forup to 34% of observed warming of the deep Southern Ocean(Zanowski et al. 2015). Smaller features, perhaps associatedwith topographically driven upwelling of warm waters, havebeen observed subsequently (Comiso and Gordon 1987), buta large polynya had not re-appeared until recently and unexpectedlyduring austral winters 2016 and 2017.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Swart, S and Campbell, EC and Heuze, CH and Johnson, K and Lieser, JL and Massom, R and Mazloff, M and Meredith, M and Reid, P and Sallee, J-B and Stammerjohn, S
Keywords: State of the Climate 2017, Maud Rise, polynya
Journal or Publication Title: Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Publisher: Amer Meteorological Soc
ISSN: 0003-0007
DOI / ID Number: 10.1175/2018BAMSStateoftheClimate.1
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