A Changing Dynamic in the Arctic Sea Ice System: Sea Ice Motion Response to Winds
Walter N. Meier1, Julienne Stroeve2
1National Snow and Ice Data Center, UCB 449, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, 80309, USA, Phone 303-492-6508, Fax 303-492-2468, walt [at] nsidc [dot] org
Sea ice motion is an important component of the arctic sea ice mass balance. As sea ice has thinned, its response to wind forcing has been modified, as indicated in sea ice motions derived from passive microwave imagery. This imagery provides over thirty years of ice motion information, allowing long-term changes to be tracked. The thinner ice appears to have less resistance to wind forcing and thus transit time of the ice across the Arctic and residence time within the Arctic is decreasing. While most feedback studies have focused on thermodynamic feedbacks such as the sea ice-albedo feedback and cloud feedbacks, the changes in ice motion suggests a dynamic feedback, which may further accelerate trends in sea ice loss.