Observed sea ice extent in the Russian Arctic, 1933–2006
Article first published online: 5 NOV 2008
Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans (1978–2012)
Volume 113, Issue C11, November 2008
How to Cite
2008), Observed sea ice extent in the Russian Arctic, 1933–2006, J. Geophys. Res., 113, C11005, doi:10.1029/2008JC004830., , , and (
- Issue published online: 5 NOV 2008
- Article first published online: 5 NOV 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 AUG 2008
- Manuscript Revised: 21 JUL 2008
- Manuscript Received: 31 MAR 2008
- sea ice
 We present a time series of sea ice extent in the Russian Arctic based on observational sea ice charts compiled by the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI). These charts are perhaps the oldest operational sea ice data in existence and show that sea ice extent in the Russian Arctic has generally decreased since the beginning of the chart series in 1933. This retreat has not been continuous, however. For the Russian Arctic as a whole in summer, there have been two periods of retreat separated by a partial recovery between the mid-1950s and mid-1980s. The AARI charts, combined with air temperature records, suggest that the retreat in recent decades is pan-Arctic and year-round in some regions, whereas the early twentieth century retreat was only observed in summer in the Russian Arctic. The AARI ice charts indicate that a significant transition occurred in the Russian Arctic in the mid-1980s, when its sea ice cover began to retreat along with that of the rest of the Arctic. Summertime sea ice extents derived from the AARI data set agree with those derived from passive microwave, including the Hadley Centre's global sea ice coverage and sea surface temperature (HadISST) data set. The HadISST results do not indicate the 1980s transition or the partial recovery that took place before it. The AARI charts therefore add significantly to our understanding of the variability of Arctic sea ice over the last 8 decades, and we recommend their inclusion in future historical data sets of Arctic sea ice.