Increasing Multiyear Sea Ice Loss in the Beaufort Sea: A New Export Pathway for the Diminishing Multiyear Ice Cover of the Arctic Ocean
Historically, multiyear sea ice (MYI) covered a majority of the Arctic and circulated through the Beaufort Gyre for years. However, increased ice melt in the Beaufort Sea during the early 2000s was proposed to have severed this circulation. Constructing a regional MYI budget from 1997 to 2021 reveals that MYI import into the Beaufort Sea has increased year-round, yet less MYI now survives through summer and is transported onwards in the Gyre. Annual average MYI loss quadrupled over the study period and increased from ∼7% to ∼33% of annual Fram Strait MYI export, while the peak in 2018 (385,000 km2) was similar in magnitude to Fram Strait MYI export. The ice-albedo feedback coupled with the transition toward younger thinner MYI is responsible for the increased MYI loss. MYI transport through the Beaufort Gyre has not been severed, but it has been reduced so severely to prevent it from being redistributed throughout the Arctic Ocean.
An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2022 American Geophysical Union.
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
CitationBabb, D. G., Galley, R. J., Howell, S. E. L., Landy, J. C., Stroeve, J. C., & Barber, D. G. (2022). Increasing multiyear sea ice loss in the Beaufort Sea: A new export pathway for the diminishing multiyear ice cover of the Arctic Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters, 49, e2021GL097595.
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Copyright 2022 American Geophysical Union