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Article Dans Une Revue The Cryosphere Année : 2023

Modelling the evolution of Arctic multiyear sea ice over 2000–2018

Heather Regan
Einar Ólason
Guillaume Boutin
Anton Korosov


Abstract. Multiyear sea ice (MYI) cover in the Arctic has been monitored for decades using increasingly sophisticated remote sensing techniques, and these have documented a significant decline in MYI over time. However, such techniques are unable to differentiate between the processes affecting the evolution of the MYI. Further, estimating the thickness and thus the volume of MYI remains challenging. In this study we employ a sea ice–ocean model to investigate the changes to MYI over the period 2000–2018. We exploit the Lagrangian framework of the sea ice model to introduce a new method of tracking MYI area and volume which is based on identifying MYI during freeze onset each autumn. The model is found to successfully reproduce the spatial distribution and evolution of observed MYI extent. We discuss the balance of the processes (melt, ridging, export, and replenishment) linked to the general decline in MYI cover. The model suggests that rather than one process dominating the losses, there is an episodic imbalance between the different sources and sinks of MYI. We identify those key to the significant observed declines in 2007 and 2012; while melt and replenishment are important in 2012, sea ice dynamics play a significant role in 2007. Notably, the model suggests that in years such as 2007, convergence of the ice, through ridging, can result in large reductions in MYI area without a corresponding loss of MYI volume. This highlights the benefit of using models alongside satellite observations to aid interpretation of the observed MYI evolution in the Arctic.
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Dates et versions

hal-04266080 , version 1 (31-10-2023)



Heather Regan, Pierre Rampal, Einar Ólason, Guillaume Boutin, Anton Korosov. Modelling the evolution of Arctic multiyear sea ice over 2000–2018. The Cryosphere, 2023, 17 (5), pp.1873-1893. ⟨10.5194/tc-17-1873-2023⟩. ⟨hal-04266080⟩
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