Interannual Variability of Monthly Sea Ice Distributions in the North Polar Region,
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION GREENBELT MD GODDARD SPACE FLIG HT CENTER
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Passive-microwave data from the Nimbus 5 and Nimbus 7 satellites have been used to determine and map, by month, the interannual variability of the spatial distribution of north polar sea ice over the period 1973-1987. Results are illustrated for the months of January and July, during the winter ice growth and summer ice decay seasons, respectively. In January, the greatest interannual variability in the distribution of the ice occurs in the Sea of Okhotsk, whereas the portions of the ice edge exhibiting the least interannual variability lie in the southern Greenland Sea and immediately to the southwest of Svalbard. In July, spatial variability is high in Hudson Bay, Baffin Bay, the southern Kara Sea, and the northern Barents Sea. The monthly maps are meant to allow ready comparison with past and future sea ice distributions and aid in the assessment of whether specific changes are climatically important.
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost