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Evaluation of sea-ice thickness from four reanalyses in the Antarctic Weddell Sea
Shi, Q.; Yang, Q.; Mu, L.; Wang, J.; Massonnet, F.; Mazloff, M.R. (2021). Evaluation of sea-ice thickness from four reanalyses in the Antarctic Weddell Sea. Cryosphere 15(1): 31-47. https://hdl.handle.net/10.5194/tc-15-31-2021
In: The Cryosphere. Copernicus: Göttingen. ISSN 1994-0416; e-ISSN 1994-0424, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine/Coastal

Authors  Top 
  • Shi, Q.
  • Yang, Q.
  • Mu, L.
  • Wang, J.
  • Massonnet, F., more
  • Mazloff, M.R.

Abstract
    Ocean–sea-ice coupled models constrained by various observations provide different ice thickness estimates in the Antarctic. We evaluate contemporary monthly ice thickness from four reanalyses in the Weddell Sea: the German contribution of the project Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean Version 2 (GECCO2), the Southern Ocean State Estimate (SOSE), the Ensemble Kalman Filter system based on the Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO-EnKF) and the Global Ice–Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (GIOMAS). The evaluation is performed against reference satellite and in situ observations from ICESat-1, Envisat, upward-looking sonars and visual ship-based sea-ice observations. Compared with ICESat-1, NEMO-EnKF has the highest correlation coefficient (CC) of 0.54 and lowest root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.44 m. Compared with in situ observations, SOSE has the highest CC of 0.77 and lowest RMSE of 0.72 m. All reanalyses underestimate ice thickness near the coast of the western Weddell Sea with respect to ICESat-1 and in situ observations even though these observational estimates may be biased low. GECCO2 and NEMO-EnKF reproduce the seasonal variation in first-year ice thickness reasonably well in the eastern Weddell Sea. In contrast, GIOMAS ice thickness performs best in the central Weddell Sea, while SOSE ice thickness agrees most with the observations from the southern coast of the Weddell Sea. In addition, only NEMO-EnKF can reproduce the seasonal evolution of the large-scale spatial distribution of ice thickness, characterized by the thick ice shifting from the southwestern and western Weddell Sea in summer to the western and northwestern Weddell Sea in spring. We infer that the thick ice distribution is correlated with its better simulation of northward ice motion in the western Weddell Sea. These results demonstrate the possibilities and limitations of using current sea-ice reanalysis for understanding the recent variability of sea-ice volume in the Antarctic.

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