Multidecadal Arctic sea ice thickness and volume derived from ice age

Liu, Yinghui; Key, Jeffrey R.; Wang, Xuanji; Tschudi, Mark

Sea ice is a key component of the Arctic climate system, and has impacts on global climate. Ice concentration, thickness, and volume are among the most important Arctic sea ice parameters. This study presents a new record of Arctic sea ice thickness and volume from 1984 to 2018 based on an existing satellite-derived ice age product. The relationship between ice age and ice thickness is first established for every month based on collocated ice age and ice thickness from submarine sonar data (1984–2000) and ICESat (2003–2008) and an empirical ice growth model. Based on this relationship, ice thickness is derived for the entire time period from the weekly ice age product, and the Arctic monthly sea ice volume is then calculated. The ice-age-based thickness and volume show good agreement in terms of bias and root-mean-square error with submarine, ICESat, and CryoSat-2 ice thickness, as well as ICESat and CryoSat-2 ice volume, in February–March and October–November. More detailed comparisons with independent data from Envisat for 2003 to 2010 and CryoSat-2 from CPOM, AWI, and NASA GSFC (Goddard Space Flight Center) for 2011 to 2018 show low bias in ice-age-based thickness. The ratios of the ice volume uncertainties to the mean range from 21 % to 29 %. Analysis of the derived data shows that the ice-age-based sea ice volume exhibits a decreasing trend of inline-formula−411 kminline-formula3 yrinline-formula−1 from 1984 to 2018, stronger than the trends from other datasets. Of the factors affecting the sea ice volume trends, changes in sea ice thickness contribute more than changes in sea ice area, with a contribution of at least 80 % from changes in sea ice thickness from November to May and nearly 50 % in August and September, while less than 30 % is from changes in sea ice area in all months.

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Liu, Yinghui / Key, Jeffrey R. / Wang, Xuanji / et al: Multidecadal Arctic sea ice thickness and volume derived from ice age. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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