Modern spatial sea-ice variability in the central Arctic Ocean and adjacent marginal seas: Reconstruction from biomarker data


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Xiaotong.Xiao [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Sea ice is a fundamental component of Earth’s climate system, contributing to heat reduction (albedo) and deep-water formation. In order to understand processes controlling the recent dramatic reduction in Arctic sea-ice cover, it is essential to determine spatial and temporal changes in sea-ice occurrence and its natural variability in the present and past. Here, we present biomarker data from surface sediments and related to the modern spatial (seasonal) sea-ice variability in the central Arctic Ocean and adjacent marginal seas (i.e., Bering, Chukchi, Laptev and Kara seas) as well as the Fram Strait/Yermak Plateau area. We determined concentrations of the sea-ice diatom-derived biomarker “IP25″ (highly-branched isoprenoid – HBI – with 25 carbon atom; Belt et al., 2007), phytoplankton-derived biomarkers (brassicasterol and dinosterol) and terrigenous biomarkers (campesterol and Î_-sitosterol) to estimate recent sea-ice conditions in the study area. A combined phytoplankton-IP25 biomarker approach (“PIP25 index”; Müller et al., 2009, 2011) is used to reconstruct the modern sea-ice distribution more quantitatively. In addition, the distribution pattern of HBI-diene/IP25 ratios has been determined to test a proposed relationship between the diene/IP25 ratio and sea-surface temperatures in Arctic marginal ice-zone environments (Fahl and Stein, 2012; Stein et al., 2012). Assessment of sea-ice conditions based on these biomarker data display that a quite stable marginal ice zone exists along the continental shelf/slope of Kara and Laptev seas during summer/early fall. Elevated IP25 as well as brassicasterol and dinosterol values occurring in the central Kara and Laptev seas are related to extended sea-ice-cover and higher primary production (close to ice-edge situation). Further to the north and the central Arctic Ocean, lower IP25 and phytoplankton biomarker concentrations point to a more close sea-ice cover situation.



Item Type
Conference (Poster)
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Not peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published
Event Details
AGU Fall Meeting 2012, 03 Dec 2012 - 07 Dec 2012, San Francisco, California, USA.
Eprint ID
32930
Cite as
Xiao, X. , Meheust, M. , Fahl, K. , Müller, J. and Stein, R. (2012): Modern spatial sea-ice variability in the central Arctic Ocean and adjacent marginal seas: Reconstruction from biomarker data , AGU Fall Meeting 2012, San Francisco, California, USA, 3 December 2012 - 7 December 2012 .


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