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Waves, ice and ocean in the future projections of the Arctic and Southern oceans

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SIPW01 - Multi-scale modelling of ice characteristics and behaviour

Co-authors: Lucia Hosekova (University of Reading, UK), Stefanie Rynders (National Oceanography Centre, UK), Danny Feltham (University of Reading, UK), Gurvan Madec (Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL), France), George Nurser (National Oceanography Centre, UK), Tim Williams (Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC), Norway), Andrew Coward (National Oceanography Centre, UK)

We present a new development to couple a Sea Ice-Ocean General Circulation Model (OGCM) with ocean waves and analyse the impact of the waves on sea ice and upper ocean. The motivation for the study stems from the recent changes in the Arctic sea ice: not only sea ice extent has been significantly lower in the recent decade than the climatology in summer and winter, but also it is much more broken and mobile, allowing the ocean surface waves propagate in the central Arctic. This mobile sea ice moderates momentum transfer from the atmosphere to the ocean and affects the heat storage in the mixed layer and halocline. We present the simulations with the newly implemented sea ice rheology, combined with floe size distribution analysis and discuss the implications of the observed wave increase and sea ice fragmentation for the present and future of the Polar Oceans. The study was a part of the EU FP7 Project ‘Ships and waves reaching Polar Regions (SWARP)’ and is linked to several ongoing UK national research initiatives. 

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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