Antarctic sea ice is experiencing a weak overall increase in area that is the residual of opposing regional trends. This study considers their seasonal pattern. In addition to traditional ice concentration and total ice area, temporal derivatives of these quantities are investigated (‘intensification’ and ‘expansion’ respectively). This is crucial to the attribution of trends, since changes in forcing directly affect ice areal change (rather than ice area). Diverse regional trends all contribute significantly to the overall increase. Trends in the Weddell and Amundsen—Bellingshausen regions compensate in magnitude and seasonality. The largest concentration trends, in autumn, are actually caused by intensification trends during spring. Autumn intensification trends directly oppose autumn concentration trends in most places, seemingly as a result of ice and ocean feedbacks. Springtime trends are reconcilable with wind trends, but further study of changes during the spring melting season is required to unravel the Antarctic sea ice increase.
Authors: Holland, Paul R. ORCID record for Paul R. Holland