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Here’s how air and ocean temperatures affect Arctic sea ice

The Arctic has higher temperatures than anywhere else in the world. Sea ice is sensitive to this. It also plays a central role when it comes to establishing the thermal balance of the region’s atmosphere-ice-ocean system. The researchers now propose to identify the processes involved in order to better estimate the sensitivity of sea ice to climate change.

The Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the world. This, unfortunately, is an established fact today. But researchers are still struggling to understand the interactions that exist in this region between the ice expanses, the ocean, and the atmosphere. Perhaps because most studies, to date, have focused on what happens on the surface from the limited data.

a international team Today it is proposed to explore the spatial and temporal differences of the beginnings meltingmelting It gels both on the surface and on ice pack base Understand sea ice in hopes of better understanding how it interacts with it Climate changeClimate change.

Data collected between 2001 and 2018 show delays between baseline and surface melt of sea ice, depending on the regions considered.Arctic Ocean. The delays, which the researchers attribute to distinct seasonal differences in the the heatthe heat Oceans available to melt sea ice between regions. to earlier ocean warming in some regions.

Image of the freeze-thaw cycle

The researchers also note that gel basalbasal Multi-year icing occurs approximately three months after ice appears on the surface. The reason is probably a combination of the regulation of the heat capacity of the sea ice itself, the emission of ocean heat from the mixed layer – the surface part of the ocean, triggered by contact with the atmosphere – and the lower layer of the ocean and the thermal buffering effect of The snow over the ice.

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On the other hand, thin ice thickness and low snow cover favor early onset of basal frost. The ocean appears to play a role between seasons in regulating the growth and melting of sea ice in the Arctic. According to the researchers, this first comprehensive picture of the freeze-thaw-conjugation cycle, with the ocean and atmosphere, shows that the self-organization of the sea-ice-ocean system will eventually delay ice loss sea ​​in the area. However, more in-depth studies are still necessary to clarify the mechanisms.