Variation of Sea Ice Extent in Different Regions of the Arctic Ocean


Title: Variation of Sea Ice Extent in Different Regions of the Arctic Ocean

Journal:Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 36(8):1-11, doi:10.1007/s13131-016-0886-x

Authors: CHEN P.*, and J. -P. Zhao

Abstract: Sea ice in the Arctic has been reducing rapidly in the past half century due to global warming. This study analyzes the variations of sea ice extent in the entire Arctic Ocean and its sub regions. The results indicate that sea ice extent reduction during 1979–2013 is most significant in summer, following by that in autumn, winter and spring. In years with rich sea ice, sea ice extent anomaly with seasonal cycle removed changes with a period of 4–6 years. The year of 2003–2006 is the ice-rich period with diverse regional difference in this century. In years with poor sea ice, sea ice margin retreats further north in the Arctic. Sea ice in the Fram Strait changes in an opposite way to that in the entire Arctic. Sea ice coverage index in melting-freezing period is an critical indicator for sea ice changes, which shows an coincident change in the Arctic and sub regions. Since 2002, Region C2 in north of the Pacific sector contributes most to sea ice changes in the central Aarctic, followed by C1 and C3. Sea ice changes in different regions show three relationships. The correlation coefficient between sea ice coverage index of the Chukchi Sea and that of the East Siberian Sea is high, suggesting good consistency of ice variation. In the Atlantic sector, sea ice changes are coincided with each other between the Kara Sea and the Barents Sea as a result of warm inflow into the Kara Sea from the Barents Sea. Sea ice changes in the central Arctic are affected by surrounding seas.