Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-359
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-359
14 Jan 2021
 | 14 Jan 2021
Status: this preprint has been withdrawn by the authors.

On the 2011 record low Arctic sea ice thickness: a combination of dynamic and thermodynamic anomalies

Xuewei Li, Qinghua Yang, Lejiang Yu, Paul R. Holland, Chao Min, Longjiang Mu, and Dake Chen

Abstract. The sea ice thickness is recognized as an early indicator of climate changes. The mean Arctic sea ice thickness has been declining for the past four decades, and a sea ice thickness record minimum is confirmed occurring in autumn 2011. We used a daily sea ice thickness reanalysis data covering the melting season to investigate the dynamic and thermodynamic processes leading to the minimum thickness. Ice thickness budget analysis demonstrates that the ice thickness loss is associated with an extraordinarily large amount of multiyear ice volume export through the Fram Strait during the season of sea ice advance. Due to the loss of multiyear ice, the Arctic ice thickness becomes more sensitive to atmospheric anomalies. The positive net surface energy flux anomalies melt roughly 0.22 m of ice more than usual from June to August. An analysis of clouds and radiative fluxes from ERA5 reanalysis data reveals that the increased net surface energy absorption supports the enhanced sea ice melt. The enhanced cloudiness led to positive anomalies of net long-wave radiation. Furthermore, the enhanced sea ice melt reduces the surface albedo, triggering an ice–albedo amplifying feedback and contributing to the accelerating loss of multiyear ice. The results demonstrate that the dynamic transport of multiyear ice and the subsequent surface energy budget response is a critical mechanism actively contributing to the evolution of Arctic sea ice thickness.

This preprint has been withdrawn.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Xuewei Li, Qinghua Yang, Lejiang Yu, Paul R. Holland, Chao Min, Longjiang Mu, and Dake Chen

Interactive discussion

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2020-359', Anonymous Referee #1, 25 Feb 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2020-359', Anonymous Referee #2, 12 Mar 2021
  • CC1: 'Some thoughts on the altimetry aspects of this paper', Robbie Mallett, 12 Mar 2021

Interactive discussion

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2020-359', Anonymous Referee #1, 25 Feb 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2020-359', Anonymous Referee #2, 12 Mar 2021
  • CC1: 'Some thoughts on the altimetry aspects of this paper', Robbie Mallett, 12 Mar 2021
Xuewei Li, Qinghua Yang, Lejiang Yu, Paul R. Holland, Chao Min, Longjiang Mu, and Dake Chen
Xuewei Li, Qinghua Yang, Lejiang Yu, Paul R. Holland, Chao Min, Longjiang Mu, and Dake Chen

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Short summary
The Arctic sea ice thickness record minimum is confirmed occurring in autumn 2011. The dynamic and thermodynamic processes leading to the minimum thickness is analyzed based on a daily sea ice thickness reanalysis data covering the melting season. The results demonstrate that the dynamic transport of multiyear ice and the subsequent surface energy budget response is a critical mechanism actively contributing to the evolution of Arctic sea ice thickness in 2011.