Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-352
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-352

  08 Jan 2021

08 Jan 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Brief communication: The anomalous winter 2019 sea ice conditions in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica

Greg H. Leonard1, Kate E. Turner2,3, Maren E. Richter2, Maddy S. Whittaker2, and Inga J. Smith2 Greg H. Leonard et al.
  • 1National School of Surveying, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  • 2Department of Physics, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  • 3National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Wellington, New Zealand

Abstract. McMurdo Sound sea ice can generally be partitioned into two regimes: (1) a stable fast-ice cover, forming south of approximately 77.6° S around March/April, then breaking out the following January/February; and, (2) a more dynamic region north of 77.6° S that the McMurdo Sound and Ross Sea polynyas regularly impact. In 2019, a stable fast-ice cover formed unusually late due to repeated breakout events. We analyse the 2019 sea-ice conditions and relate them to southerly wind events using a Katabatic Wind Index (KWI). We find there is a strong correlation between breakout events and several unusually large KWI events.

Greg H. Leonard et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2020-352', Alexander Fraser, 29 Jan 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Gregory Leonard, 21 Apr 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2020-352', Anonymous Referee #2, 26 Feb 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Gregory Leonard, 21 Apr 2021

Greg H. Leonard et al.

Greg H. Leonard et al.

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Short summary
McMurdo Sound sea ice can generally be partitioned into two regimes: a stable fast-ice cover forming south of approximately 77.6° S, and a more dynamic region north of 77.6° S that is regularly impacted by polynyas. In 2019, a stable fast-ice cover formed unusually late due to repeated break-out events. This subsequently affected sea ice operations in the 2019/2020 field season. We analysed the 2019 sea-ice conditions and found a strong correlation with unusually large southerly wind events.