To what extent is there a mechanical coupling between Antarctic ice-shelves and sea-ice? (2019)
Understanding the causes of recent trends in Antarctic ice shelves and sea ice is crucial for improving our modelling capabilities to predict the future state of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and its future contribution to sea level rise. An overlooked component of this is the direct interaction between ice shelves and sea ice; two systems which have traditionally been studied rather separately. This report closely examines the literature surrounding this, and suggests that current evidence points to the existence of a tight mechanical coupling, in which the behaviour of both sea-ice and ice-shelves is able to influence the stability of the other. Examples are used to illustrate this interaction, including the recent Larsen A, B and Wilkins Ice Shelf collapses, major calvings from the Erebus Glacier Tongue and Sulzberger Ice Shelf, and sea ice trends in the MIZ at the Ninnis-Mertz glacier system. In particular, sea-ice is shown to be able to dampen certain (but not all) types of ocean waves, reducing their destructive force on ice shelves. Grounded icebergs from ice shelves have also been observed to form centres of extended sea-ice formation. However, current models contain insufficient parameterisation of this coupling, limiting their accuracy, and so further research to understand and quantify its nature and extent for model input is highly recommended.
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Can SMOS Ocean Salinity Data Detect a Link Between Increasing Antarctic Sea Ice Extent and Freshwater Flux from Basal Melting of Antarctic ice shelves? Schroeter, Serena (2015)The drivers behind the observed trend of increasing Antarctic sea ice extent are not yet well understood, though several potential drivers have been identified, such as the increased input of freshwater into the Southern ...
Schroeter, Serena (University of Canterbury, 2015)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 t ...
Irvine, Henry (University of Canterbury, 2019)Ice sheet mass balance (and therefore sea-level contribution) is buttressed at its margins by the ice shelves. Across Antarctica, the stability of these ice shelves, on which this buttressing effect depends, is known to ...