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Variability and Trends in Antarctic Sea Ice

Funded by NSF Antarctic Program
Jinlun Zhang
University of Washington



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Introduction

The Southern Ocean plays a significant role in the Earth climate system. A prominent feature of the polar ocean is the presence of an ice cover, which regulates the air-sea exchanges of heat, mass, and momentum and therefore modifies the atmosphere and ocean circulation. Satellite passive microwave images show that the Antarctic sea ice cover is subject to significant interannual variability and there has been a modest net increase in the Antarctic sea ice extent since 1979, when quality space-based observations became available. Using the Global Ice-Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (GIOMAS), we would like to synthesize through modeling and data assimilation the historical evolution of the Antarctic sea ice-ocean system from 1979 to the present to enhance our understanding of the large-scale changes that have occurred in the sea ice and the upper ocean in response to changes in atmospheric circulation. Our goal is to identify key interactions and linkages between the sea ice, the upper ocean, and the atmosphere that may explain the observed increase in Antarctic sea ice.

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Contact: If you have any questions or require additional information,  please contact: Jinlun Zhang.

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