1932

Abstract

A spectacular resurgence of interest in the topic of ocean wave/sea ice interactions has unfolded over the last two decades, fueled primarily by the deleterious ramifications of global climate change on the polar seas. The Arctic is particularly affected, with a widespread reduction of the extent, thickness, and compactness of its sea ice during the summer, creating an ice cover that is analogous to that in the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica. With the additional fetches over which waves can form and mature within more open ice fields, there has also been a documented global uptrend of winds and wave height, which is most severe at high latitudes. Bigger ocean waves affect the way sea ice forms, contribute to how the ice edge moves, penetrate farther into the sea ice, have more destructive power to break up the ice and to change the distribution of floe sizes because the ice is weaker, and assist in lateral melting. These feedbacks collectively identify a parametrization currently absent from Earth system models, as well as shortcomings in wave forecasts arising from limited understanding of the impact of sea ice on ocean waves.

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2020-01-05
2024-04-14
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