Temporal and spatial evolution of the Antarctic sea ice prior to the September 2012 record maximum extent



[1] On 24 September 2012 the Antarctic sea ice extent (SIE) reached a new annual daily maximum (ADM) for the satellite era of 19.72 × 106 km2. The largest positive SIE anomalies compared to the mean of all ADMs were found over the northern Amundsen Sea, off the coast of Wilkes Land, with smaller positive anomalies off the Dronning Maud Land coast (30°W to 30°E). The SIE at the ADM is significantly correlated with the extents for the previous 80 days, but the ice growth during the winter of 2012 was close to the climatological rate, and 1 month before the ADM, the SIE was near the recent mean. Deep depressions in the circumpolar trough since late August 2012 resulted in strong southerly flow and marked northward sea ice advection. The linear trend in SIE suggests that it contributed ~40% to the 2012 anomaly, with depression activity adding ~60%.