Antarctic sea-ice extent in global coupled climate models
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Antarctic sea ice plays a key role in the global climate system, moderating heat and moisture exchange in the Southern Ocean, reflecting solar radiation, and maintaining global thermohaline circulation. However, the trend of increasing Antarctic seasonal sea ice extent observed during the past few decades is not currently reproduced by the majority of climate models. A key question has emerged: Is this disparity due to problems within the physics of the models, or due to drivers of sea ice extent that are not yet incorporated in the models? Accurate representation of sea ice dynamics and processes is vital to inform regional and global climate predictions, and a large body of publications investigating this disparity has developed in the past decade. This paper summarises academic literature on modelling sea ice extent, concluding that while the models contain biases and poorly represent some climate processes, particularly in ocean components, substantial uncertainty remains as to the processes driving sea ice extent increases, which could limit the capacity for accurate representation in models. Further research into the processes driving the increase in sea ice extent is therefore highly recommended.
- Literature Reviews