Unprecedented springtime retreat of Antarctic sea ice in 2016

During Austral spring 2016 Antarctic sea ice extent (SIE) decreased at a record rate of 75 × 103 km2 day-1, which was 46% faster than the mean rate and 18% faster than in any previous spring season during the satellite era. The decrease of sea ice area was also exceptional and 28% greater than the mean. Anomalous negative retreat occurred in all sectors of the Antarctic, but was greatest in the Weddell and Ross Seas. Record negative SIE anomalies for the day of year were recorded from 3 November 2016 until 9 April 2017. Rapid ice retreat in the Weddell Sea took place in strong northerly flow after an early maximum ice extent in late August. Rapid ice retreat occurred in November in the Ross Sea when surface pressure was at a record high level, with the Southern Annular Mode at its most negative for that month since 1968.


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Authors: Turner, John ORCIDORCID record for John Turner, Phillips, Tony ORCIDORCID record for Tony Phillips, Marshall, Gareth J. ORCIDORCID record for Gareth J. Marshall, Hosking, J. Scott ORCIDORCID record for J. Scott Hosking, Pope, James O. ORCIDORCID record for James O. Pope, Bracegirdle, Thomas J. ORCIDORCID record for Thomas J. Bracegirdle, Deb, Pranab

On this site: Gareth Marshall, James Pope, Scott Hosking, John Turner, Pranab Deb, Thomas Bracegirdle, Tony Phillips
16 July, 2017
Geophysical Research Letters / 44
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