The role of Antarctic sea ice in global climate change

Hanna, Edward (1996) The role of Antarctic sea ice in global climate change. Progress in Physical Geography, 20 (4). pp. 371-401. ISSN 0309-1333

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Taking a distinct interdisciplinary focus, a critical view is presented of the current state of research concerning Antarctic sea-ice/atmosphere/ocean interaction and its effect on climate on the interannual timescale, with particular regard to anthropogenic global warming. Sea-ice formation, morphology, thickness, extent, seasonality and distribution are introduced as vital factors in climatic feedbacks. Sea-ice / atmosphere interaction is next discussed, emphasizing its meteorological and topographical influences and the effects of and on polar cyclonic activity. This leads on to the central theme of sea ice in global climate change, which contains critiques of sea-ice climatic feedbacks, current findings on the representation of these feedbacks in global climatic models, and to what extent they are corroborated by observational evidence. Sea-ice/ocean interaction is particularly important. This is discussed with special reference to polynyas and leads, and the use of suitably coupled sea-ice/ocean models. A brief review of several possible climatic forcing factors is presented, which most highly rates a postulated ENSO-Antarctic sea-ice link. Sea-ice/atmosphere/ocean models need to be validated by adequate observations, both from satellites and ground based. In particular, models developed in the Arctic, where the observational network allows more reasonable validation, can be applied to the Antarctic in suitably modified form so as to account for unique features of the Antarctic cryosphere. Benefits in climatic modelling will be gained by treating Antarctic sea ice as a fully coupled component of global climate.

Keywords:climate change, global-scale, ocean-ice-atmosphere system, sea ice, sea ice/atmosphere interaction, Antarctica
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F890 Geographical and Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
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ID Code:26084
Deposited On:10 Mar 2017 11:52

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