Atmospheric circulation impacts on winter maximum sea ice extent in the west Antarctic Peninsula region (1979–2001)
Article first published online: 20 JAN 2006
Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 33, Issue 2, January 2006
How to Cite
2006), Atmospheric circulation impacts on winter maximum sea ice extent in the west Antarctic Peninsula region (1979–2001), Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L02502, doi:10.1029/2005GL024978.(
- Issue published online: 20 JAN 2006
- Article first published online: 20 JAN 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 DEC 2005
- Manuscript Revised: 1 DEC 2005
- Manuscript Received: 18 OCT 2005
 Increasing evidence exists that the strong warming of the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region since the 1950s is related to reduced sea ice that is likely to be due to changes in the atmospheric circulation. Over twenty years of sea ice extent, ice motion and reanalysed near-surface wind data are used to establish that winter ice extent in the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region is largely determined by the meridional (north-south) atmospheric circulation. A remarkably strong ice extent-wind relationship is found in the WAP. No other Antarctic or comparable sub-Arctic sea ice region shows this. Ice motion data confirm wind-induced drift is crucial for extensive winter ice to occur. Reasons for winter ice extent and winds being more strongly correlated in the WAP than in other parts of the Antarctic are discussed along with implications for understanding the observed warming.