Multi-year spatial distribution of Antarctic sea ice (1988 - 2017)

  • Mean sea-ice concentration of the Antarctic over the 30-year period was 0.506
  • The distribution ofmulti-year sea ice during different decades  was different
  • Multi-yearsea-ice concentration over the Antarctic increasedat a rate of 0.136%/yr

In this study, we used daily sea-ice concentration data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center from 1988 to 2017 to investigate the spatial distribution of Antarctic sea ice by calculating the annual mean sea-ice concentration and multi-year sea ice in five sub-regions of Antarctica. Variations in these parameters were analyzed for three individual 10-year increments (1988 - 1997, 1998 - 2007, and 2008 - 2017) as well as for the entire 30-year period, and spatial comparisons of both were made for the sub-regions. Results showed that the mean sea-ice concentration for the entire Antarctic region over the 30-year period was 0.506. From 2008 to 2017, the sea-ice concentration decreased at a rate of -0.28% yr-1. The Weddell Sea was found to have the largest area of multi-year sea ice, whereas the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean had the least. Spatially, the multi-year sea ice area increased mainly in the Weddell Sea, whereas the Bellingshausen Sea, Amundsen Sea, and Ross Sea experienced decreasing sea ice areas. In conclusion, regional differences in the spatial distribution of the Antarctic sea ice were observed. The temporal trend and range of the sea-ice concentration differed between the five sub-regions, as did the spatial distribution and temporal trend of multi-year sea ice.

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