5 April 2017:
The extent and concentration of Antarctic sea ice has been observed to increase from the late 1970’s until 2015. However climate models generally simulated decreases over the same period, in line with predictions and observations for Arctic sea ice. In January 2016 a workshop was held in Boulder, Colorado, USA, to bring together scientists with different sets of expertise and perspectives to look at what was driving recent Antarctic sea ice variability. The workshop looked at ways to advance the understanding of Antarctic sea ice and its relationship to the broader ocean-climate system.
Outcomes included identifying key observations, model improvements and new research required to understand the processes controlling the observed variability. The importance of process studies and focusing on regions of particular geographical interest were also emphasized.
The workshop report, which summarises the presentations and discussions from the workshop, has recently been published by the Polar Research Board of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Over 40 scientists attended and a further 16 participated via webcast, exploring potential mechanisms driving the evolution of recent Antarctic sea ice variability and discussing ways to advance understanding.
The workshop included participation of many SCAR scientists, including Science Group Chief Officers David Bromwich (Physical Sciences) and Berry Lyons (Geosciences, to 2016). Support was also provided through the planning process, and also travel funding for individuals, from the SCAR Antarctic Sea-ice Processes and Climate (ASPeCt) Expert Group.
“Antarctic Sea Ice Variability in the Southern Ocean-Climate System” Washington, DC: National Academies Press (2017).