Observing sea ice thickness variability in the Laptev Sea and the implications for the Transpolar Drift system
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|Authors:||Belter, H. Jakob||Supervisor:||Krumpen, Thomas||1. Expert:||Haas, Christian||2. Expert:||Kanzow, Torsten||Abstract:||
The Arctic sea ice cover is strongly connected to the global climate system and therefore not only subject to internal variability but also in a phase of significant change related to the ongoing increase in global mean surface temperatures. The most important parameters to monitor and describe sea ice are its areal extent, thickness, and motion. While reliable, long-term satellite measurements of sea ice concentration, which is used to derive the area covered by sea ice, exist since the late 1970s, sea ice thickness and motion data sets of comparable quality and length are currently not available.
The overarching goal of this dissertation is to contribute to the improvement of sea ice thickness observations and to understand and quantify the impact of ongoing sea ice thickness changes and variability in the most important regions of sea ice formation on the overall Arctic sea ice budget. To achieve that, the first study presented in this dissertation focuses on extending the knowledge about sea ice thickness variability in the Laptev Sea by developing a new method to derive sea ice thickness time series from moored sonars. It is shown that daily mean sea ice thickness time series can be inferred from basic, moored upward-looking Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers. This adaptive approach allows to revisit data sets from past mooring deployments in the Laptev Sea and exploit them to extend the available sea ice thickness records and close observational gaps in a region that, due to its limited accessibility, is vastly under-sampled.
These new data sets are the basis for the validation of multiple satellite sea ice thickness products, including the longest available one introduced by the European Space Agency, which provides Arctic-wide sea ice thickness since 2002. It is shown that in the first-year ice dominated Laptev Sea the investigated satellite products provide the most frequently occurring (modal) rather than the mean sea ice thickness. This important discovery allows for a better interpretation of the available satellite records, especially for the investigation of sea ice volume transports, and underlines their deficiencies in representing dynamically deformed sea ice.
Based on the knowledge gained in the Laptev Sea, the final study presented in this dissertation follows the Arctic sea ice life cycle from the regions of ice formation along the Transpolar Drift towards Fram Strait and analyses whether sea ice thickness anomalies induced in the source regions of Arctic sea ice propagate to the central Arctic Ocean and beyond. More specifically, it is investigated which particular processes are potentially responsible for the induced anomalies in the source regions and whether their signals persist until the end of the Transpolar Drift. In the absence of a single-source Arctic-wide, high temporal and spatial resolution sea ice thickness data product, this final part promotes the combination of different techniques and tools for the investigation of this complex Arctic climate parameter. At the center of the investigation is an extended long-term electromagnetic induction sounding-based sea ice thickness time series, which shows a general thinning and decreasing age of sea ice at the end of the Transpolar Drift between 2001 and 2020. Due to its length, this unique time series also permits to put ice thickness measurements conducted during the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) expedition into the historical context. Lagrangian ice tracking and modelling of thermodynamic sea ice growth along the pathways of Arctic sea ice reveal a potential preconditioning effect of observed increases in upward ocean heat fluxes in the eastern Arctic, termed Atlantification, that decelerates sea ice growth.
The presented efforts are an important contribution to the better understanding of Arctic sea ice thickness variability and change and can be seen as starting points for more targeted analyses of the driving mechanisms behind them. In addition, the acquisition, validation, and extension of sea ice thickness observations provide the basis for more detailed sea ice modelling, which will improve not only the monitoring but also the prediction of Arctic sea ice thickness changes in the future.
|Keywords:||Sea ice; Thickness; Laptev Sea; Transpolar Drift||Issue Date:||12-Jan-2021||Type:||Dissertation||DOI:||10.26092/elib/450||URN:||urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-elib46534||Institution:||Universität Bremen||Faculty:||Fachbereich 01: Physik/Elektrotechnik (FB 01)|
|Appears in Collections:||Dissertationen|
checked on Feb 27, 2021
checked on Feb 27, 2021
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