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Guanghua Hao, Hui Shen, Yongming Sun, Chunhua Li. Rapid decrease in Antarctic sea ice in recent years[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1762-x
Citation: Guanghua Hao, Hui Shen, Yongming Sun, Chunhua Li. Rapid decrease in Antarctic sea ice in recent years[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1762-x

Rapid decrease in Antarctic sea ice in recent years

doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1762-x
Funds:  The National Key R&D Program of China under contract Nos. 2018YFA0605902 and 2018YFA0605903; the National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract Nos 41606218 and 41941009; the fund of Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition logistics support item.
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  • Corresponding author: E-mail: sym@ouc.edu.cn
  • Received Date: 2020-10-13
  • Accepted Date: 2020-11-13
  • Available Online: 2021-06-29
  • A 41-year Antarctic sea ice concentration (SIC) dataset derived from satellite passive microwave radiometers during the period of 1979–2019 has been used to analyze sea ice changes in recent decades. The trends of SIC and sea ice extent (SIE) are calculated during the periods of 1979–2019, 1979–2013, and 2014–2019. The trends show regionally dependent features. The SIC shows an increasing trend in most of the regions except the Bellingshausen/Amundsen seas (BA) during 1979–2019 and 1979–2013. The SIE trend shows a decreasing or decelerating trend in the period of 1979–2019 ((6 835±2 210) km2/a) compared with the 1979–2013 period ((18 600±2 203) km2/a). In recent years (2014–2019), the SIC and SIE have exhibited decreasing trends (–(34 567±3 521) km2/month), especially in the Weddell Sea (WS) and Ross Sea (RS) during summer and autumn. The trends are related to regionally dependent causes. The analyses show that the SIC and SIE decreased in response to the warming trend of 2 m air temperature (Ta-2m) and have exhibited a good relationship with Ta-2m in summer and autumn in recent years. The sea ice decrease in the Antarctic is mainly caused by increases in absorbed energy and southward energy transportation in recent years, such as the increase in gained solar radiation and moist static energy from the south, which demonstrate notable regional characteristics. In the WS region, the local positive feedback from the additional absorbed solar radiation, resulting in warmer air and reduced sea ice, is the main reason for the sea ice decrease in recent years. The increase in southward energy transport has also favored a decrease in sea ice. In the RS region, the increase in southward-transported moist static energy has contributed to the decrease in sea ice, and the increases in cloud cover and longwave radiation have prevented sea ice growth.
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