Geophysical Research Letters

Reduction in seasonal sea ice concentration surrounding southern Baffin Island 1979–2004



[1] Sea ice plays an important role in the climate and ecology of the Arctic. Numerous studies have identified a reduction in Arctic sea ice cover that has occurred over the past several decades, the period for which we have remotely sensed sea ice concentration data. The regional and seasonal expressions of this reduction have not been as extensively studied. In this paper, we describe the reduction in sea ice concentration that has occurred around southern Baffin Island, one of the Arctic's most biologically active regions. We show that a reduction in sea ice concentration, statistically significant at the 95% level or higher in the presence of temporally correlated noise, in the range of 10–20% per decade has occurred in the region with the largest reduction occurring during the early winter. This reduction is consistent with a recent statistically significant surface warming in the region during the fall and early winter.