Antarctic research yields circumpolar sea ice thickness data


  • A. P. Worby,

    1. Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes Oceans and Ice Branch, Code 971, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., 20771
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  • S. F. Ackley


One of the great questions about a global warming scenario is, what will happen to Antarctic sea ice? Studies of past climates, which provide evidence for polar amplification of warming, suggest that under any global warming scenario, Northern Hemisphere sea ice will probably be reduced. Recent results already suggest a 40% decrease in ice thickness over the past 2–4 decades [Rothrock et al, 1999]. However, projected changes and their timing in the Southern Hemisphere sea ice cover are less certain, and current coupled model studies of an increased carbon dioxide atmosphere disagree in their predicted Southern Hemisphere responses.