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Evaluation of Sea Ice Kinematics and their Impact on Ice Thickness Distribution in the Arctic
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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Sea ice area and thickness have been on the decline in the Arctic over the past several decades. Understanding the role of ice motion, deformation, and export is important to determining if the Arctic will continue toward seasonal ice coverage or if natural variability is capable of reversing this trend. We have analyzed sea ice model output and satellite data to advance the understanding of potentially critical physical processes and feedbacks in the region. In particular, comparisons of RGPS data and sea ice results from ice-ocean and fully coupled regional climate models have been made to evaluate model skill in representing ice kinematics. Both sea ice model configurations maintain a 112 deg 9km horizontal spacing and multiple thickness categories in each grid cell. Advanced model representation of sea ice deformations, combined with high spatial resolution, allow direct comparison with satellite data for resolving small-scale linear kinematic features, which contribute to changes in sea ice thickness distribution. These results offer an improved insight into what forces determine the survivability of sea ice in the Arctic.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE