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Seasonal and interannual variations of sea ice mass balance from the Central Arctic to the Greenland Sea


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Lei, R, Cheng, B, Heil, P, Vihma, T, Wang, J, Ji, Q and Zhang, Z 2018 , 'Seasonal and interannual variations of sea ice mass balance from the Central Arctic to the Greenland Sea' , Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, vol. 123, no. 4 , pp. 2422-2439 , doi: 10.1002/2017JC013548.

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The seasonal evolution of sea ice mass balance between the Central Arctic and Fram Strait, as well as the underlying driving forces, remain largely unknown because of a lack of observations. In this study, two and three buoys were deployed in the Central Arctic during the summers of 2010 and 2012, respectively. It was established that basal ice growth commenced between mid‐October and early December. Annual basal ice growth, ranging from 0.21 to 1.14 m, was determined mainly by initial ice thickness, air temperature, and oceanic heat flux during winter. An analytic thermodynamic model indicated that climate warming reduces the winter growth rate of thin ice more than for thick ice because of the weak thermal inertia of the former. Oceanic heat flux during the freezing season was 2–4 W m−2, which accounted for 18–31% of the basal ice energy balance. We identified two mechanisms that modified the oceanic heat flux, i.e., solar energy absorbed by the upper ocean during summer, and interaction with warm waters south of Fram Strait; the latter resulted in basal ice melt, even in winter. In summer 2010, ice loss in the Central Arctic was considerable, which led to increased oceanic heat flux into winter and delayed ice growth. The Transpolar Drift Stream was relatively weak in summer 2013. This reduced sea ice advection out of the Arctic Ocean, and it restrained ice melt because of the cool atmospheric conditions, weakened albedo feedback, and relatively small oceanic heat flux in the north.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Lei, R and Cheng, B and Heil, P and Vihma, T and Wang, J and Ji, Q and Zhang, Z
Keywords: sea ice, dynamics, variability, polar oceans, snow, mass balance, oceanic heat flux, Arctic outflow region, Fram Strait
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Inc.
ISSN: 2169-9275
DOI / ID Number: 10.1002/2017JC013548
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 American Geophysical Union

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