85th AMS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, 12 January 2005: 1:30 PM
Attribution of Variability in Arctic Minimum Sea Ice Extent (Invited Presentation)
Jennifer A. Francis, Rutgers University, Highlands, NJ; and E. Hunter, J. R. Key, and X. Wang Sr.
Significant change is now a way of life in the Arctic. Analyses of nearly every observable parameter -- be it physical, biological, or chemical -- adds to a growing body of evidence that business-as-usual in the Arctic is a thing of the past, and that the region may be headed toward conditions beyond human experience. Over much of the Arctic Ocean, however, attempts to decipher how and why these changes are occurring are hampered by gaps in information essential for answering these questions. This void contributes to our incomplete understanding of fundamental Arctic variability, to deficiencies in model representations of climate processes, and to poorly defined links among the system's components. New products from 23 years of polar-orbiting satellite sounder data are helping to fill these gaps. This presentation will focus on the application of these products to explaining observed changes in minimum sea ice extent in the Arctic's peripheral seas.

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