Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Atlantic heat constrains Arctic sea ice extent

Date:
June 26, 2012
Source:
University of Bergen
Summary:
The Arctic sea ice cover is a sensitive indicator of climate variability and change. Researchers have for the first time quantified how Atlantic heat influences the sea ice extent in the Barents Sea, where the retreat in Arctic winter sea ice is the most pronounced.

Map of the Barents Sea showing mean winter sea ice concentration between 1979 and 2010 (colormap) and main paths of Atlantic water (red arrows). Winter ice extent (15% concentration) during the 1980s (solid line), 1990s (dashed) and 2000s (dash-dotted) is also shown.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Bergen

The Arctic sea ice cover is a sensitive indicator of climate variability and change. Researchers from the Bjerknes Centre in Bergen, Norway, have for the first time quantified how Atlantic heat influences the sea ice extent in the Barents Sea, where the retreat in Arctic winter sea ice is the most pronounced.

The winter sea ice extent in the Barents Sea has gradually decreased during the last three decades, and the annual mean sea ice area was reduced by about 50% during the last decade (1998-2008). A new study reported in Journal of Climate by researchers from the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research (University of Bergen, Uni Research, and Institute of Marine Research), shows that interannual variability and long-term decrease in sea ice cover reflect changes in the inflow of Atlantic water.

This warm water flows northward off the Norwegian coast and into the Barents Sea as an extension of the Gulf Stream. Measurements from the south-western Barents Sea and results from a numerical ocean model reveal that increased heat transport (a product of changes in temperature and current speed) associated with Atlantic water leads to a larger area with no wintertime freezing.

Most of the sea ice retreat is thus not ice that has melted -- this sea ice never froze -- and is therefore a fundamentally different process than the observed summer sea ice retreat in the central Arctic.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bergen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Εrthun, T. Eldevik, L. H. Smedsrud, Ψ. Skagseth, R. B. Ingvaldsen. Quantifying the influence of Atlantic heat on Barents Sea ice variability and retreat. Journal of Climate, 2012; 120417101359001 DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00466.1

Cite This Page:

University of Bergen. "Atlantic heat constrains Arctic sea ice extent." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626065007.htm>.
University of Bergen. (2012, June 26). Atlantic heat constrains Arctic sea ice extent. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626065007.htm
University of Bergen. "Atlantic heat constrains Arctic sea ice extent." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626065007.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Trapped Scientist Rescued from Cave in Peru

Raw: Trapped Scientist Rescued from Cave in Peru

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — A Spanish scientist, who spent 12 days trapped about 1300 feet underground in a cave in Peru's remote Amazon region, was rescued on Tuesday. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Seismic Activity Halts Recovery at Japan Volcano

Seismic Activity Halts Recovery at Japan Volcano

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) — Rescuers were forced to suspend plans to recover at least two dozen bodies from near the summit of Mount Ontake in central Japan on Tuesday after increased seismic activity raised concern about the possibility of another eruption. (Sept. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins