Arctic and Antarctic sea ice and climate

Monday, 15 December 2014
Sandra Barreira, Argentine Hydrographic Service, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Principal Components Analysis in T-Mode Varimax rotated was performed on Antarctic and Arctic monthly sea ice concentration anomalies (SICA) fields for the period 1979-2014, in order to investigate which are the main spatial characteristics of sea ice and its relationship with atmospheric circulation. This analysis provides 5 patterns of sea ice for inter-spring period and 3 patterns for summer-autumn for Antarctica (69,2% of the total variance) and 3 different patterns for summer-autumn and 3 for winter-spring season for the Arctic Ocean (67,8% of the total variance).Each of these patterns has a positive and negative phase. We used the Monthly Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations database derived from satellite information generated by NASA Team algorithm. To understand the links between the SICA and climate trends, we extracted the mean pressure and, temperature field patterns for the months with high loadings (positive or negative) of the sea ice patterns that gave distinct atmospheric structures associated with each one. For Antarctica, the first SICA spatial winter-spring pattern in positive phase shows a negative SICA centre over the Drake Passage and north region of Bellingshausen and Weddell Seas together with another negative SICA centre over the East Indian Ocean. Strong positive centres over the rest of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans basins and the Amundsen Sea are also presented. A strong negative pressure anomaly covers most of the Antarctic Continent centered over the Bellingshausen Sea accompanied by three positive pressure anomalies in middle-latitudes. During recent years, the Arctic showed persistent associations of sea-ice and climate patterns principally during summer. Our strongest summer-autumn pattern in negative phase showed a marked reduction on SICA over western Arctic, primarily linked to an overall increase in Arctic atmospheric temperature most pronounced over the Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian Seas, and a positive anomaly of pressure over Greenland.