Trends in Polar Sea Ice Extent 1979-2015
29 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2015 Last revised: 27 Apr 2015
Date Written: April 23, 2015
A survey of trends in dispersed and concentrated sea ice extent in the Arctic in the northern summer and northern winter and in the Antarctic in the southern summer and southern winter for the period 1979-2015 shows a negative trend in dispersed and concentrated sea ice extent in the Arctic in the northern summer amid rising surface temperature in the northern hemisphere. The trend in concentrated sea ice extent in the Arctic summer is not uniform across the study period but mostly a phenomenon of the latter half from 1998-2014. A positive trend for dispersed sea ice extent in the Antarctic in winter amid rising winter temperature in the southern hemisphere is not matched by trends in concentrated sea ice extent and the degree of dispersion and is discounted as spurious. In the southern summer, we found no trends in sea ice extent in the Antarctic and no trend in mean surface temperature in the southern hemisphere. This work concerns only sea ice extent without considerations of the age, thickness, and total volume of sea ice.
Keywords: Arctic sea ice, Antarctic sea ice, passive microwave imaging, global warming, climate change, polar ice caps, sea ice extent, sea ice dispersion, trends, uncertainty in trends, statistical inference
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