Unprecedented Arctic sea ice thickness loss and multiyear-ice volume export through Fram Strait during 2010-2011

The satellite-observed sea ice thickness records from 2003 to 2020 identify an extreme sea ice thickness loss during 2010–2011. Ice thickness budget analysis demonstrates that the thickness loss was associated with an extraordinarily large multiyear ice volume export through the Fram Strait during the season of sea ice advance. High cloudiness led to positive anomalies of net longwave radiation, and positive net surface energy flux anomalies supported enhanced sea ice melt from June to August. Due to the multiyear ice loss, the Arctic sea ice became more sensitive to subsequent atmospheric anomalies. The reduced surface albedo triggering a positive ice-albedo amplifying feedback and contributed to the accelerating loss of ice thickness. These tightly coupled events highlight that the increasingly younger and thinner Arctic sea ice is becoming more vulnerable to external forcing and created the precondition for the rapid reduction in sea ice extent in 2012.


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Authors: Li, Xuewei, Yang, Qinghua, Yu, Lejiang, Holland, Paul ORCIDORCID record for Paul Holland, Min, Chao, Mu, Longjiang, Chen, Dake

On this site: Paul Holland
1 September, 2022
Environmental Research Letters / 17
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