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Vertical ocean heat redistribution sustaining sea-ice concentration trends in the Ross Sea
Lecomte, O.; Goosse, H.; Fichefet, T.; de Lavergne, C.; Barthélemy, A.; Zunz, V. (2017). Vertical ocean heat redistribution sustaining sea-ice concentration trends in the Ross Sea. Nature Comm. 8(1): 8 pp. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1038/s41467-017-00347-4
In: Nature Communications. Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2041-1723; e-ISSN 2041-1723, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • de Lavergne, C.
  • Barthélemy, A., more
  • Zunz, V., more

Abstract
    Several processes have been hypothesized to explain the slight overall expansion of Antarctic sea ice over the satellite observation era, including externally forced changes in local winds or in the Southern Ocean’s hydrological cycle, as well as internal climate variability. Here, we show the critical influence of an ocean–sea-ice feedback. Once initiated by an external perturbation, it may be sufficient to sustain the observed sea-ice expansion in the Ross Sea, the region with the largest and most significant expansion. We quantify the heat trapped at the base of the ocean mixed layer and demonstrate that it is of the same order of magnitude as the latent heat storage due to the long-term changes in sea-ice volume. The evidence thus suggests that the recent ice coverage increase in the Ross Sea could have been achieved through a reorganization of energy within the near-surface ice-ocean system.

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