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Title: Changes in the annual sea ice freeze–thaw cycle in the Arctic Ocean from 2001 to 2018
Abstract. The annual sea ice freeze–thaw cycle plays a crucial role in theArctic atmosphere—ice–ocean system, regulating the seasonal energy balanceof sea ice and the underlying upper-ocean. Previous studies of the sea icefreeze–thaw cycle were often based on limited accessible in situ or easilyavailable remotely sensed observations of the surface. To better understandthe responses of the sea ice to climate change and its coupling to the upperocean, we combine measurements of the ice surface and bottom usingmultisource data to investigate the temporal and spatial variations in thefreeze–thaw cycle of Arctic sea ice. Observations by 69 sea ice mass balancebuoys (IMBs) collected from 2001 to 2018 revealed that the average ice basalmelt onset in the Beaufort Gyre occurred on 23 May (±6 d),approximately 17 d earlier than the surface melt onset. The average icebasal melt onset in the central Arctic Ocean occurred on 17 June (±9 d), which was comparable with the surface melt onset. This difference wasmainly attributed to the distinct seasonal variations of oceanic heatavailable to sea ice melt between the two regions. The overall average onsetof basal ice growth of the pan Arctic Ocean occurred on 14 November (±21 d), lagging approximately 3 months behind the surface freezeonset. This temporal delay was caused by a combination more » of cooling the seaice, the ocean mixed layer, and the ocean subsurface layer, as well as thethermal buffering of snow atop the ice. In the Beaufort Gyre region, both(Lagrangian) IMB observations (2001–2018) and (Eulerian) moored upward-looking sonar (ULS) observations (2003–2018) revealed a trend towardsearlier basal melt onset, mainly linked to the earlier warming of thesurface ocean. A trend towards earlier onset of basal ice growth was alsoidentified from the IMB observations (multiyear ice), which we attributed tothe overall reduction of ice thickness. In contrast, a trend towards delayedonset of basal ice growth was identified from the ULS observations, whichwas explained by the fact that the ice cover melted almost entirely by theend of summer in recent years. « less
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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
The Cryosphere
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
4779 to 4796
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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