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https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-71
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-71
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 06 Apr 2020

Submitted as: research article | 06 Apr 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Evaluation of Sea-Ice Thickness from four reanalyses in the Antarctic Weddell Sea

Qian Shi1,2, Qinghua Yang1,2, Longjiang Mu3,2, Jinfei Wang1,2, François Massonnet4, and Matthew Mazloff5 Qian Shi et al.
  • 1School of Atmospheric Sciences and Guangdong Province Key Laboratory for Climate Change and Natural Disaster Studies, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai 519082, China
  • 2Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai), Zhuhai 519082, China
  • 3Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven 27570, Germany
  • 4Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate Research, Earth and LifeInstitute, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain‐la‐Neuve, Belgium
  • 5Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA

Abstract. Ocean-sea ice coupled models constrained by varied observations provide different ice thickness estimates in the Antarctic. We evaluate contemporary monthly ice thickness from four reanalyses in the Weddell Sea, the German contribution of the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean project, Version 2 (GECCO2), the Southern Ocean State Estimate (SOSE), the Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO) based ocean-ice model (called NEMO-EnKF), and the Global Ice-Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (GIOMAS), and with reference observations from ICESat-1, Envisat, upward looking sonars and visual ship-based sea-ice observations. Compared with ICESat-1 altimetry and in situ observations, all reanalyses underestimate ice thickness near the coast of the western Weddell Sea, even though ICESat-1 and visual observations may be biased low. GECCO2 and NEMO-EnKF can well reproduce the seasonal variation of first-year ice thickness in the eastern Weddell Sea. In contrast, GIOMAS ice thickness performs best in the central Weddell Sea, while SOSE ice thickness agrees most with the observations in the southern coast of the Weddell Sea. In addition, only NEMO-EnKF can reproduce the seasonal spatial evolution of ice thickness distribution well, characterized by the thick ice shifting from the southwestern and western Weddell Sea in summer to the western and northwestern Weddell Sea in spring. We infer that the thick ice distribution is correlated with its better simulation of northward ice motion in the western Weddell Sea. These results demonstrate the possibilities and limitations of using current sea-ice reanalysis for understanding the recent variability of sea-ice volume in the Antarctic.

Qian Shi et al.

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Short summary
The ice thickness from four state-of-the-art reanalyses (GECCO2, SOSE, NEMO-EnKF and GIOMAS) are evaluated against that from remote sensing and in situ observations in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. Most of the reanalyses could reproduce ice thickness in the central and eastern Weddell Sea, but failed to capture the thick and deformed ice in the western Weddell Sea. These results demonstrate the possibilities and limitations of using current sea ice reanalysis in the Antarctic climate research.
The ice thickness from four state-of-the-art reanalyses (GECCO2, SOSE, NEMO-EnKF and GIOMAS) are...
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