Seasonal Ice Zone Reconnaissance Surveys Coordination

The purpose of this project is coordination of the Seasonal Ice Zone Reconnaissance Surveys (SIZRS) program of repeated ocean, ice, and atmospheric measurements across the Beaufort-Chukchi sea seasonal sea ice zone (SIZ) utilizing US Coast Guard Arctic Domain Awareness (ADA) flights of opportunity. SIZRS, like the ONR Arctic and Global Prediction Program, is motivated by the rapid decline in summer ice extent that has occurred in recent years. The SIZ is the region between maximum winter sea ice extent and minimum summer sea ice extent. As such, it contains the full range of positions of the marginal ice zone (MIZ) where sea ice interacts with open water. The increasing size and changing air-ice-ocean properties of the SIZ are central to recent reductions in Arctic sea ice extent. To understand the changes in the interplay among the ice, atmosphere, and ocean requires a combined systematic observational and modeling effort, covering up to interannual time-scales. We will integrate the SIZ Reconnaissance Surveys (SIZRS) results with models and other in situ and remote sensing observations to better understand and predict air, sea, and sea ice conditions in the Beaufort/Chukchi SIZ (BCSIZ), a region that is showing substantial interannual change.