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Pan-arctic winter drift speeds and changing patterns of sea ice motion: 1979–2015

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 February 2019

Satwant Kaur
Affiliation:
Centre for Earth Observation Science (CEOS), University of Manitoba, 125 Dysart Rd, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T2N2, Canada
Jens K. Ehn
Affiliation:
Centre for Earth Observation Science (CEOS), University of Manitoba, 125 Dysart Rd, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T2N2, Canada
David G. Barber
Affiliation:
Centre for Earth Observation Science (CEOS), University of Manitoba, 125 Dysart Rd, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T2N2, Canada
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Monthly mean passive microwave-derived sea-ice motion maps for 36 winters (October–April) are used to examine pan-Arctic sea-ice drift speeds and patterns. The mean Arctic Ocean sea-ice motion consists of three well-known primary circulation regimes: the Beaufort Gyre (BG), transpolar drift (TPD), and a motion system from the Kara Sea (KS). The 36-year mean winter sea-ice drift pattern is used to identify the average boundaries between the circulation regimes mentioned above. Regression analyses of the ice drift speed anomalies show statistically significant positive drift speed trends in BG, TPD and KS. Non-significant trends are associated with negative trends of generally weak drift speeds north of the Canadian Arctic and over the Chukchi/East Siberian Shelf. The first three modes of Empirical Orthogonal Functions were found to explain 30.2%, 13.5% and 8.7% of the spatial variance in the mean winter ice drift patterns and highlight the large variability in the ice drift patterns.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019 

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