Sea ice conditions and melt season duration variability within the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: 1979–2008

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Abstract

[1] Sea ice conditions and melt season duration within the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) were investigated from 1979–2008. The CAA is exhibiting statistically significant decreases in average September total sea ice area at −8.7% decade−1. The melt season duration within the CAA is increasing significantly at 7 days decade−1. 2008 represented the longest melt season duration within the CAA over the satellite record at 129 days. Average September multi-year ice (MYI) area is decreasing at −6.4% decade−1 but has yet to reach statistical significance as a result of increasing MYI dynamic import from the Arctic Ocean. Results also find that the Western Parry Channel (WPC) region of the Northwest Passage (NWP) will continue to be susceptible to MYI as the transition to a summer-time sea ice free Arctic continues. The processes responsible for the temporary clearing of the WPC region of the NWP in 2007 were also identified.

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