Advances in Earth Science ›› 2013, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (6): 709-717. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2013.06.0709

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Variability of the Greenland Sea Ice Edge

Mu Longjiang, Zhao Jinping   

  1. Ocean University of China, Key Laboratory of Polar Oceanography and Global Ocean Change, Qingdao 266100, China
  • Received:2012-11-19 Revised:2013-04-18 Online:2013-06-10 Published:2013-06-10

Mu Longjiang, Zhao Jinping. Variability of the Greenland Sea Ice Edge[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2013, 28(6): 709-717.

The Greenland Sea, a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean, accommodates ice flux from the Arctic. The Greenland Sea ice edge is affected by ice export from the Arctic Ocean and also by local sea ice melting and freezing processes. The sea ice concentration product inverted from brightness temperature data on the AMSR-E microwave sensor from January 2003 to June 2011 is used to discuss the variability of the Greenland Sea ice edge in this paper. The study shows that the Greenland Sea ice edge did not only show annual periodic variations, but also significant semiannual periodic variations associated with sea ice extent changes in spring and autumn. The maximum of winter sea ice edge had a decreasing trend which demonstrated sea ice extent decreasing caused by Arctic warming in winter, and the minimum of summer sea ice edge had a increasing trend caused by higher sea ice export from Arctic Ocean in summer. 2003 and 2004 were the year Greenland Sea ice melt most in summer. In 2007, the Arctic Ocean had the largest ice extent, while the Greenland Sea had the least ice extent that demonstrated more ice export from Arctic Ocean than the other years. In addition, surface water runoff from ice melting in summer on the Greenland had a certain impact on the variability of sea ice edge. Meridional wind in Fram Strait, which drove ice transport from the Arctic Ocean to the Greenland Sea and then produced lagging effect on the distribution of the Greenland Sea ice edge, played a more important role than local wind field on ice edge variations.

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