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SCAR 2020 Parallel Session 5: Antarctic Sea ice Variability and Change
Tuesday 28th July 2020: 19:00–23:00 (UTC)
Convenors: Marilyn Raphael, Ariaan Purich, Will Hobbs, Andreas Klocker
Antarctic sea ice is undergoing rapid and prolonged changes. These changes are complex in their spatial distribution, their seasonality, and even in their timescale – a long term positive trend since the late 1970s has been followed by an unprecedented rapid decline in Spring 2016. Sea ice sits at the interface between the atmosphere and the ocean and changes in sea ice are the result of the complex interaction of any of these three components – ice, ocean, and atmosphere. These changes have global implications; Antarctic sea ice formation, export and melt are crucial for ocean ventilation through the formation of both Antarctic Bottom Water and Antarctic Intermediate Water, and potentially affect the inflow of warm Circumpolar Deep Water beneath ice shelves, promoting the retreat of the grounded portion of the ice sheet, and consequently sea level rise. In spite of the challenges associated with observing and modelling the Antarctic coastal and sea ice zones, recent observational programs and focused model development efforts are now rapidly advancing our understanding of these processes.