Wind-driven ocean dynamics impact on the contrasting sea-ice trends around West Antarctic

Since late 1978, Antarctic sea-ice extent has overall expanded in all seasons in stark contrast to the retreating Arctic sea-ice extent. However, while the sea-ice extent around East Antarctica has increased monotonically, the sea-ice around West Antarctica exhibits regionally and seasonally inhomogeneous trends. For instance, Antarctic sea-ice extent in the East Pacific has decreased substantially in Austral summer. We used an ocean and sea-ice coupled model to show that the increased wind-driven upwelling of the relatively warm subsurface water, known as upper Circumpolar Deep Water, is mainly responsible for the declining sea-ice extent. This study also explains how the changes in Weddell Gyre circulations and associated meridional heat transport contributed to the increasing Antarctic sea ice in the Atlantic during Austral summer

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016JC012416/abstract

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