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Chunming Dong, Hongtao Nie, Xiaofan Luo, Hao Wei, Wei Zhao. Mechanisms for the Link between Onset and Duration of Open Water in the Kara Sea[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1767-5
Citation: Chunming Dong, Hongtao Nie, Xiaofan Luo, Hao Wei, Wei Zhao. Mechanisms for the Link between Onset and Duration of Open Water in the Kara Sea[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1767-5

Mechanisms for the Link between Onset and Duration of Open Water in the Kara Sea

doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1767-5
Funds:  The National Key Research and Development Program of China under contract No. 2016YFC1401401; National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract Nos 41630969, 41941013 and 41806225.
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  • Corresponding author: E-mail: htnie@tju.edu.cn
  • Received Date: 2020-10-27
  • Accepted Date: 2020-11-28
  • Available Online: 2021-04-22
  • The sea ice conditions in the Kara Sea have important impacts on Arctic shipping, oil and gas production, and marine environmental changes. In this study, sea ice coverage (CR) less than 30% is considered as open water, its onset and end dates are defined as Topen and Tclose, respectively. The sea ice melt onset (Tmelt) is defined as the date when ice-sea freshwater flux initially changes from ice into the ocean. Satellite-based sea ice concentration (SIC) from 1989 to 2019 shows a negative correlation between Topen and Tclose (r = –0.77, p < 0.01) in the Kara Sea. This phenomenon is also obtained through analyzing the hindcast simulation from 1994 to 2015 by a coupled ocean and sea-ice model (NAPA1/4). The model results reveal that thermodynamics dominate the sea ice variations, and ice basal melt is greater than the ice surface melt. Heat budget estimation suggests that the heat flux is significant correlated with Topen (r = –0.95, p < 0.01) during the melt period (the duration of multi-year averaged Tmelt to Topen) influenced by the sea ice conditions. Additionally, this heat flux is also suggested to dominate the interannual variation of the heat input during the whole heat absorption process (r = 0.81, p < 0.01). The more heat input during this process leads to later Tclose (r = 0.77, p < 0.01). This is the physical basis of the negative correlation between Topen and Tclose. Therefore, the duration of open water can be predicted by Topen and thence support earlier planning of marine activities.
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