Articles | Volume 12, issue 2
The Cryosphere, 12, 433–452, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-12-433-2018
The Cryosphere, 12, 433–452, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-12-433-2018

Research article 06 Feb 2018

Research article | 06 Feb 2018

The Arctic sea ice cover of 2016: a year of record-low highs and higher-than-expected lows

Alek A. Petty et al.

Data sets

Near-Real-Time DMSP SSMIS Daily Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations, Version 1 J. Maslanik and J. Stroeve https://doi.org/10.5067/U8C09DWVX9LM.

Sea Ice Concentrations from Nimbus-7 SMMR and DMSP SSM/I-SSMIS Passive Microwave Data, Version 1 D. J. Cavalieri, C. L. Parkinson, P. Gloersen, and H. J. Zwally https://doi.org/10.5067/8GQ8LZQVL0VL

Recent changes in Arctic sea ice melt onset, freezeup, and melt season length T. Markus, J. C. Stroeve, and J. Miller https://doi.org/10.1029/2009JC005436

Bootstrap Sea Ice Concentrations from Nimbus-7 SMMR and DMSP SSM/I-SSMIS, Version 2 J. C. Comiso https://doi.org/10.5067/J6JQLS9EJ5HU

Snow Melt Onset Over Arctic Sea Ice from SMMR and SSM/I-SSMIS Brightness Temperatures, Version 3 M. Anderson, A. C. Bliss, and S. Drobot https://doi.org/10.5067/22NFZL42RMUO

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Short summary
There was significant scientific and media attention surrounding Arctic sea ice in 2016, due primarily to the record-warm air temperatures and low sea ice conditions observed at the start of the year. Here we quantify and assess the record-low monthly sea ice cover in winter, spring and fall, and the lack of record-low sea ice conditions in summer. We explore the primary drivers of these monthly sea ice states and explore the implications for improved summer sea ice forecasting.