In the Arctic, sea ice motion and ice export are prominent processes and good indicators of Arctic climate system variability. Sea ice drift is simulated using a dynamic-thermodynamic sea ice model, validated with retrievals from SSM/I satellite observations. Both data sets agree well in reproducing the main Arctic drift patterns. In order to study inner Arctic transports and ice volume anomalies, the Arctic Ocean is splitted by ten boarderlines, separating the marginal seas from the central Arctic Ocean and the Nordic Seas. It is found that the already dominant sea ice export through the Fram Strait has increased at the expense of export through the Barents Sea in recent years. Furthermore, ice export from the Eurasian marginal seas increases slightly, followed by a larger ice production during the winter season. In contrast to this the sea ice volume moved within the Beaufort Gyre decreases distinctly. In total, the ice volume in the central Arctic decreases during the 40 year period covered by this study. The changes in the ice volume are going along with two wind-driven circulation regimes of the Arctic sea ice motion, which recur approximately every 11 years. For the volume anomalies we derive a correlation of 0.59 to the NAO index lagging the NAO by two years.
Helmholtz Research Programs > MARCOPOLI (2004-2008) > POL1-Processes and interactions in the polar climate system