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Recent Publications on Sea Ice

sea ice

Reductions in Arctic sea ice during the past decade have elevated scientific and societal questions about the likelihoods of future scenarios. Is the recent sea ice decline an indicator of anthropogenic exacerbations to positive feedbacks that will lead the Arctic to an unprecedented future of reduced ice cover, or is the decline simply an ephemeral expression of natural low frequency climate oscillations that will eventually return the Arctic to prior conditions? This unanswered question bears significant ramifications to Arctic ecology as well as the Earth's climate system, and it is being rigorously investigated by numerous scientists throughout the world.

The USGS Alaska Science Center is collaborating with the Russia Academy of Sciences, Moscow , and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado , in developing new satellite remote sensing methods to detect sea ice changes and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of change. Globally, the products of this collaboration are contributing to a growing understanding of the integrated ocean-ice-atmosphere system. Locally, the products are providing knowledge about how climate variability is affecting the habitats of Arctic wildlife populations. For more information, contact David Douglas (, 907-364-1576).

Recent Publications :

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Arctic Sea Ice Decline: Projected Changes in Timing and Extent of Sea Ice in the Bering and Chukchi Seas.

Douglas, D.C., 2010, Arctic sea ice decline: Projected changes in timing and extent of sea ice in the Bering and Chukchi Seas: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1176, 32 p.

Sea ice thickness changes.

Belchansky, G.I., D.C. Douglas, and N.G. Platonov. 2008. Fluctuating Arctic sea ice thickness changes estimated by an in-situ learned and empirically forced neural network model. Journal of Climate 21(4):716-729.

Age structure evolution and age class survivorship of Arctic sea ice.

Belchansky, G. I., D. C. Douglas, and N. G. Platonov (2005), Spatial and temporal variations in the age structure of Arctic sea ice, Geophys. Res. Lett.,32, L18504, doi:10.1029/2005GL023976, [Link to Paper]

New satellite remote sensing methods for detecting the dates of melt onset, freeze onset, and duration of the summer melt season over sea ice.

Belchanksy, G. I., D. C. Douglas, I. N. Mordvintsev, and N. G. Platonov (2004), Estimating the time of melt onset and freeze onset over Arctic sea-ice area using active and passive microwave data. Remote Sens. Environ., 92 , 21-39. [Link to Publication]

Interannual variability and trends in sea ice melt season dynamics and their associations with atmospheric circulation patterns.

Belchansky, G. I., D. C. Douglas, and N. G. Platonov (2004), Duration of the Arctic sea ice melt season: Regional and interannual variability, 1979-2001, J. Climate, 17 , 67-80. [ Link to Publication ]

A new satellite remote sensing methodology for monitoring the Arctic 's perennial sea ice (ice that has survived at least one summer melt season), and analyses of hemispheric and regional trends, 1988-2001.

Belchansky, G. I., D. C. Douglas, I. V. Alpatsky, and N. G. Platonov (2004) , Spatial and temporal multiyear sea ice distributions in the Arctic : A neural network analysis of SSM/I data, 1988-2001, J. Geophys. Res. , 109 (C12), doi:10.1029/2004JC002388. [ Link to Publication ]

Relationships between regional atmospheric circulation patterns and the timing of spring snow melt over terrestrial and sea ice surfaces in the western Arctic.

Stone, R. S., D. C. Douglas, G. I. Belchansky, S. D. Drobot, and J. Harris (2005), Cause and effect of variations in western Arctic snow and sea ice cover. 8.3, Proc. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 8 th Conf. on Polar Oceanogr. and Meteorol. , San Diego , CA , 9-13 January. [ Link to Paper ]

Extended analysis of perennial sea ice trends (1979-2004) and relationships with atmospheric forcing.

Belchansky, G. I., D. C. Douglas, V. A. Eremeev, and N. G. Platonov (2005), Variations in the Arctic's multiyear sea ice cover: A neural network analysis of SMMR-SSM/I data, 1979-2004. Geophys. Res. Lett. Vol. 32, No. 9, L09605, doi:10.1029/2005GL022395. [Link to Publication]

Common underlying mechanisms between snow melt patterns and sea ice trends in the western Arctic .

Stone, R. S., D. C. Douglas, G. I. Belchansky, and S. D. Drobot (2005), Polar climate: Arctic sea ice, Pages 39-41 in D. H. Levinson (ed.), State of the Climate in 2004, Bull. Amer. Meterol. Soc., Vol. 86, No. 6, 86 pp. [Link to Paper]

Stone, R. S., D. C. Douglas, G. I. Belchansky, and S. D. Drobot (2005), Correlated declines in western Arctic snow and sea ice cover. Arctic Res. United States, 19:18-25. [Link to Paper]

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