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Interannual SAM modulation of Antarctic sea ice extent does not account for its long-term trends, pointing to a limited role for ozone depletion

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Polvani, LM, Banerjee, A, Chemkee, R, Doddridge, E ORCID: 0000-0002-6097-5729, Ferreira, D, Gnanadesikan, A, Holland, MA, Kostov, Y, Marshall, J, Seviour, WJM, Solomon, S and Waugh, DW 2021 , 'Interannual SAM modulation of Antarctic sea ice extent does not account for its long-term trends, pointing to a limited role for ozone depletion' , Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 48, no. 21 , pp. 1-10 , doi: 10.1029/2021GL094871.

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Abstract

The expansion of Antarctic sea ice since 1979 in the presence of increasing greenhouse gases remains one of the most puzzling features of current climate change. Some studies have proposed that the formation of the ozone hole, via the Southern Annular Mode, might explain that expansion, and a recent paper highlighted a robust causal link between summertime Southern Annular Mode (SAM) anomalies and sea ice anomalies in the subsequent autumn. Here we show that many models are able to capture this relationship between the SAM and sea ice, but also emphasize that the SAM only explains a small fraction of the year-to-year variability. Finally, examining multidecadal trends, in models and in observations, we confirm the findings of several previous studies and conclude that the SAM–and thus the ozone hole–are not the primary drivers of the sea ice expansion around Antarctica in recent decades.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Polvani, LM and Banerjee, A and Chemkee, R and Doddridge, E and Ferreira, D and Gnanadesikan, A and Holland, MA and Kostov, Y and Marshall, J and Seviour, WJM and Solomon, S and Waugh, DW
Keywords: ice, ozone, Southern Ocean
Journal or Publication Title: Geophysical Research Letters
Publisher: Amer Geophysical Union
ISSN: 0094-8276
DOI / ID Number: 10.1029/2021GL094871
Copyright Information:

© 2021. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

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