Temporal and Spatial Variability of Ross polynya using Multi-Satellite Observations

Monday, 15 December 2014
Jinku Park and Young-Heon Jo, Pusan National University, Busan, South Korea
Polynyas are particularly vulnerable to not only local environmental changes, but also global climate changes through air-sea-ice interactions. In order to understand the large scales of its interactions, a temporal and spatial variation of polynyas and, areas of open water in the middle of ice shelf, around the Antarctica were analyzed based on remote sensing measurements. Especially, the polynya in the Ross Sea (Ross polynya) was analyzed, which was the largest on among the all of them around the Antarctica for last decades. Accordingly, the main purpose of this presentation is to (1) evaluate a variability of Ross polynya spatial and temporal characteristics and (2) address relationship between spatial polynya variability and global warming effect. In order to conduct research the observations from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-EOS (AMAR-E) were used. The products (SST, wind speed, cloud vapor, atmospheric water vapor and rain rate), including sea ice extent, are from June 2002 to October 2011. Additionally, Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) data sets were used to estimate mass changes in adjacent ice sheet affected by local atmospheric condition. Based on the nine year’s data, research results suggest that Ross polynya normally started to appear around the end of December and persist for about 77.5 days. The extent of Ross polynya in 2011 is the largest and had a tendency to increase year after year. SST in adjacent sea has slightly decreased for the same period (as 0.054C yr-1) due to the melting ice and variation of wind, water vapor and rain rate are 0.054 m s-1 yr-1, -0.027 mm yr-1 and 0.001 mm hr-1 yr-1, respectively. Increase land mass in the west-southern Antarctica could be the result of accumulating snow which is made of vapor induced by extended polynya. In addition, we would conduct to evaluate a correlation with characteristics of other global and local components corresponding climate change and understand that how the climate change effect have implications for Ross polynya and glacial or environmental condition in the vicinity.