Articles | Volume 16, issue 6
Research article
28 Jun 2022
Research article |  | 28 Jun 2022

Sea ice floe size: its impact on pan-Arctic and local ice mass and required model complexity

Adam William Bateson, Daniel L. Feltham, David Schröder, Yanan Wang, Byongjun Hwang, Jeff K. Ridley, and Yevgeny Aksenov

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Cited articles

Aksenov, Y., Popova, E. E., Yool, A., Nurser, A. J. G., Williams, T. D., Bertino, L., and Bergh, J.: On the future navigability of Arctic sea routes: High-resolution projections of the Arctic Ocean and sea ice, Mar. Policy, 75, 300–317,, 2017. 
Alberello, A., Onorato, M., Bennetts, L., Vichi, M., Eayrs, C., MacHutchon, K., and Toffoli, A.: Brief communication: Pancake ice floe size distribution during the winter expansion of the Antarctic marginal ice zone, The Cryosphere, 13, 41–48,, 2019. 
Arntsen, A. E., Song, A. J., Perovich, D. K., and Richter-Menge, J. A.: Observations of the summer breakup of an Arctic sea ice cover, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 8057–8063,, 2015. 
Åstrom, J. A., Ouchterlony, F., Linna, R. P., and Timonen, J.: Universal dynamic fragmentation in D dimensions, Phys. Rev. Lett., 92, 245506​​​​​​​,, 2004. 
Bateson, A. W.: Fragmentation and melting of the seasonal sea ice cover, PhD thesis, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, United Kingdom, 293 pp.,, 2021a. 
Short summary
Numerical models are used to understand the mechanisms that drive the evolution of the Arctic sea ice cover. The sea ice cover is formed of pieces of ice called floes. Several recent studies have proposed variable floe size models to replace the standard model assumption of a fixed floe size. In this study we show the need to include floe fragmentation processes in these variable floe size models and demonstrate that model design can determine the impact of floe size on size ice evolution.