Volume 43 Issue 3
Mar.  2024
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Yu Guo, Xiaoli Wang, He Xu, Xiyong Hou. Spatiotemporal variation and freeze-thaw asymmetry of Arctic sea ice in multiple dimensions during 1979 to 2020[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2024, 43(3): 102-114. doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2296-9
Citation: Yu Guo, Xiaoli Wang, He Xu, Xiyong Hou. Spatiotemporal variation and freeze-thaw asymmetry of Arctic sea ice in multiple dimensions during 1979 to 2020[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2024, 43(3): 102-114. doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2296-9

Spatiotemporal variation and freeze-thaw asymmetry of Arctic sea ice in multiple dimensions during 1979 to 2020

doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2296-9
Funds:  The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Key Deployment Project of Centre for Ocean Mega-Research of Science under contract No. COMS2020Q07; the Open Fund Project of Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Information Technology, Ministry of Natural Resources; the National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract No. 41901133.
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  • Corresponding author: E-mail address: xlwang@yic.ac.cn
  • Received Date: 2023-08-31
  • Accepted Date: 2023-12-15
  • Available Online: 2024-03-12
  • Publish Date: 2024-03-25
  • Arctic sea ice is broadly regarded as an indicator and amplifier of global climate change. The rapid changes in Arctic sea ice have been widely concerned. However, the spatiotemporal changes in the horizontal and vertical dimensions of Arctic sea ice and its asymmetry during the melt and freeze seasons are rarely quantified simultaneously based on multiple sources of the same long time series. In this study, the spatiotemporal variation and freeze-thaw asymmetry of Arctic sea ice were investigated from both the horizontal and vertical dimensions during 1979–2020 based on remote sensing and assimilation data. The results indicated that Arctic sea ice was declining at a remarkably high rate of –5.4 × 104 km2/a in sea ice area (SIA) and –2.2 cm/a in sea ice thickness (SIT) during 1979 to 2020, and the reduction of SIA and SIT was the largest in summer and the smallest in winter. Spatially, compared with other sub-regions, SIA showed a sharper declining trend in the Barents Sea, Kara Sea, and East Siberian Sea, while SIT presented a larger downward trend in the northern Canadian Archipelago, northern Greenland, and the East Siberian Sea. Regarding to the seasonal trend of sea ice on sub-region scale, the reduction rate of SIA exhibited an apparent spatial heterogeneity among seasons, especially in summer and winter, i.e., the sub-regions linked to the open ocean exhibited a higher decline rate in winter; however, the other sub-regions blocked by the coastlines presented a greater decline rate in summer. For SIT, the sub-regions such as the Beaufort Sea, East Siberian Sea, Chukchi Sea, Central Arctic, and Canadian Archipelago always showed a higher downward rate in all seasons. Furthermore, a striking freeze-thaw asymmetry of Arctic sea ice was also detected. Comparing sea ice changes in different dimensions, sea ice over most regions in the Arctic showed an early retreat and rapid advance in the horizontal dimension but late melting and gradual freezing in the vertical dimension. The amount of sea ice melting and freezing was disequilibrium in the Arctic during the considered period, and the rate of sea ice melting was 0.3 × 104 km2/a and 0.01 cm/a higher than that of freezing in the horizontal and vertical dimensions, respectively. Moreover, there were notable shifts in the melting and freezing of Arctic sea ice in 1997/2003 and 2000/2004, respectively, in the horizontal/vertical dimension.
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