Dataset: Southern Ocean Sea Ice Extent and Area


Description

This indicator is no longer maintained, and is considered OBSOLETE.

INDICATOR DEFINITION
The northern limit of the pack ice as defined by the 15% concentration of sea ice determined by the SSM/I instrument or its replacement.

TYPE OF INDICATOR
There are three types of indicators used in this report:
1.Describes the CONDITION of important elements of a system;
2.Show the extent of the major PRESSURES exerted on a system;
3.Determine RESPONSES to either condition or changes in the condition of a system.

This indicator is one of: CONDITION

RATIONALE FOR INDICATOR SELECTION
Climate is affected by complex interactions between the sea ice and the atmosphere and ocean. The sea ice extent and concentration is determined by the oceanic and atmospheric forcing. There is evidence of variations in the sea ice extent and concentration on a synoptic time scale as storms pass through the region, and variations in sea ice extent on a multi-year time frame with forcing caused by the Antarctic circumpolar wave. Over the past 20 years, there is limited evidence of an increase in spatial ice extent and in the length of time that ice is present. Continued monitoring of sea ice extent and concentration may provide insights into the dynamics of the Southern Ocean and help to predict future climate.

DESIGN AND STRATEGY FOR INDICATOR MONITORING PROGRAM
NASA uses a combination of satellite passive microwave sensors to measure the brightness values over sea ice covered regions. They then use an algorithm (referred to as the 'team' algorithm) to calculate the ice concentration and to determine the ice edge. The data are available globally on a daily or monthly basis.

RESEARCH ISSUES
Currently, NASA intends to maintain a series of satellite microwave sensors to continue to monitor sea ice extent and concentration. Ongoing research to interpret the data are currently being carried out at the AAD and the Antarctic and Southern Ocean CRC.

Links with other indicators
The sea ice extent and concentration has a large impact on the surface salinity and temperatures. Thus strong links with sea surface salinity and sea surface temperatures.

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