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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2017-28
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
15 Mar 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).
Winter sea ice export from the Laptev Sea preconditions the local summer sea ice cover
Polona Itkin2 and Thomas Krumpen1 1Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway
2Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
Abstract. Recent studies based on satellite observations have shown that there is a high statistical connection between the late winter (Feb-May) sea ice export out the Laptev Sea, and the ice coverage in the following summer. By means of airborne sea ice thickness surveys made over pack ice areas in the southeastern Laptev Sea, we show that years of offshore directed sea ice transport have a thinning effect on the late winter sea ice cover, and vice versa. Once temperature rise above freezing, these thin ice zones melt more rapidly and hence, precondition local anomalies in summer sea ice cover. The preconditioning effect of the winter ice dynamics for the summer sea ice extent is confirmed with a model sensitivity study where we replace the inter-annual summer atmospheric forcing by a climatology. In the model, years with high late winter sea ice export always result in a reduced sea ice cover, and vice versa. We conclude that the observed tendency towards an increased ice export further accelerates ice retreat in summer. The mechanism presented in this study highlights the importance of winter ice dynamics for summer sea ice anomalies in addition to atmospheric processes acting on the ice cover between May and September. Finally, we show that ice dynamics in winter not only precondition local summer ice extent, but also accelerate fast ice decay.

Citation: Itkin, P. and Krumpen, T.: Winter sea ice export from the Laptev Sea preconditions the local summer sea ice cover, The Cryosphere Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2017-28, in review, 2017.
Polona Itkin and Thomas Krumpen
Polona Itkin and Thomas Krumpen
Polona Itkin and Thomas Krumpen

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Short summary
By means of airborne sea ice thickness surveys, remote sensing data and results from a numerical model, we show that winter ice dynamic in the Laptev Sea has a preconditioning effect on local summer ice extent in addition to atmospheric processes acting on the ice cover between May and September. We conclude that the observed tendency towards an increased ice export further accelerates pack ice retreat in summer and fast ice decay.
By means of airborne sea ice thickness surveys, remote sensing data and results from a numerical...
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