Determination of Changes in the State of the Arctic Ice Pack Using the NPS Pan-Arctic Coupled Ice-Ocean Model
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA UNDERSEA WARFARE ACADEMIC GROUP
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This thesis provides an analysis of the diminishing sea ice trend in the Arctic Ocean by examining the NPS 112-degree pan-Arctic coupled ice-ocean model. While many previous studies have analyzed changes in ice extent and concentration, this research focuses on ice thickness as it gives a better indication of ice volume variability. The skill of the model is examined by comparing its output to sea ice thickness data gathered during the last two decades. The first dataset used is the collection of draft measurements conducted by U.S. Navy submarines between 1986 and 1999. The second is electromagnetic EM induction ice thickness measurements gathered using a helicopter by the Alfred Wegener Institute in April 2003. Last, model output is compared with data collected by NASAs ICESat program using a laser altimeter mounted on a satellite of the same name. The NPS model indicates an accelerated thinning trend in Arctic sea ice during the last decade. The validation of model output with submarine, EM and ICESat data supports this result. This lends credence to the postulation that the Arctic not only might, but is likely to be ice-free during the summer in the near future.
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost