Interannual variability and future changes of the Southern Ocean sea ice cover

by Lefebvre, Wouter

Abstract (Summary)
The interannual variability of the sea ice in the Southern Ocean and its evolution projected for the end of the 21st century are investigated using observations and different types of models. First of all, none of the known atmospheric modes of variability are able to explain much of the total sea ice extent variability in the Southern Ocean. However, they have large influences on the local and regional scales. In particular, the response of the sea ice to the Southern Annular Mode is characterized by a dipole between the Ross Sea and the region around the Antarctic Peninsula caused by a low pressure anomaly in the Amundsen Sea in high SAM-index years. Secondly, the sea ice extent in the different regions seems to be mostly uncorrelated, showing that the total sea ice cover cannot be seen as a single entity, but merely as a combination of regional covers. Finally, it is shown why the projected distribution of sea ice is not a simple extrapolation of the current sea ice trends. The mechanisms responsible for the regional variability of the future sea-ice extents are discussed.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Université catholique de Louvain

School Location:Belgium

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:sea ice southern ocean


Date of Publication:11/16/2007

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