GFDL Formal Seminar

Thu, Feb 13, 2020, 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm

In parallel to the widely reported decline in Arctic ice extent, there have also been dramatic losses in sea ice thickness and volume, and in multiyear sea ice coverage. Instead of a relatively a consistent satellite record from passive microwave radiometers, assessments of large-scale decadal changes in thickness, volume, and multiyear sea ice coverage are dependent on observations from multiple sources: submarine and airborne surveys, and satellite altimetry and scatterometry. The submarine ice draft record spans the period between 1958 and 2000, the satellite altimeter records of thickness estimates between 2003 and 2018, and the scatterometer records of multiyear sea ice coverage between 1999 and present. Even though there is sometimes sparse sampling (in space and time), lack of consistency in measurement approaches and continuity in individual records, these datasets broadly depict an ice cover that has thinned everywhere and a multiyear sea ice cover that is rapidly thinning. The recently launched ICESat-2, equipped with a photon counting altimeter, adds to the record of thickness and volume estimates. I will discuss the multi-decadal record trends and highlight the potential contribution ¬ ¬of this unique ICESat-2 instrument - with examples from recent results - to various aspects of cryospheric science and oceanography of the ice-covered oceans.

Location: 
Smagorinsky Seminar Room 209
Speaker(s): 

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