Sea ice motion within the Beaufort Sea

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Babb, David
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American Geophysical Union
Sea ice drift and associated forcing mechanisms within the Beaufort Sea are examined within the context of a mechanically weakening Arctic ice pack. Extensive in situ observations of ice drift, ice mass balance and surface winds are supplemented by remotely sensed and modeled data to analyse the forcing of sea ice motion. First we analyse the anomalous export of 13.4 x 103 km2 of sea ice through the Bering Strait during winter 2011-2012. The event highlights a tendency towards increased ice transport through the Bering Strait since 2008 as a result of climate induced weakening of the arctic ice pack. Secondly, as part of the Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment we analyse the seasonal evolution of ice drift in the Beaufort Sea during Spring as the ice pack transitions from mechanically strong conditions in late winter to weak summer conditions that foster free drift and thus increased ice drift speeds.
Sea ice, Beaufort Sea
Babb, D.G. R.J. Galley, M.G. Asplin, J.V. Lukovich and D.G. Barber (2013), Multiyear sea ice export through the Bering Strait during winter 2011-2012, Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans, 118, 5489-5503, doi:10.1002/jgrc.20383.