Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-35
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-35

  01 Feb 2021

01 Feb 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Perspectives on future sea ice and navigability in the Arctic

Jinlei Chen1, Shichang Kang1,2, Wentao Du1, Junming Guo1, Min Xu1, Xinyue Zhong3, Wei Zhang1, and Jizu Chen1 Jinlei Chen et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • 2CAS Centre for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • 3Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing of Gansu Province, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China

Abstract. The retreat of sea ice is very significant in the Arctic under global warming. It is projected to continue and have great impacts on navigation. In this investigation, decadal changes in sea ice parameters were evaluated by multimodel from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6, and Arctic navigability was assessed under two shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) and two vessel classes within the Arctic transportation accessibility model. The sea ice extent is expected to decrease along the SSP5-8.5 scenario with a high possibility under current emissions and climate change. The decadal decreasing rate will increase in March but decrease in September until 2060 when the oldest ice completely disappears and sea ice changes reach an irreversible tipping point. The sea ice thickness will decrease and transit in parts of the Arctic and will decline overall by −0.22 m per decade after September 2060. Both the sea ice concentration and volume will thoroughly decline with decreasing decadal rates, while the decrease in volume will be higher in March than in September. Open water ships will be able to cross the Northeast Passage and Northwest Passage in August–October 2045–2055, with a maximum navigable area in September. The opportunistic crossing time for polar class 6 (PC6) ships will advance to October–December in 2021–2030, while the maximum navigable area will be seen in October. In addition, the Central Passage will also open for PC6 ships during September–October in 2021–2030.

Jinlei Chen et al.

Status: open (until 15 Jun 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Jinlei Chen et al.

Jinlei Chen et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 364 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
266 94 4 364 2 2
  • HTML: 266
  • PDF: 94
  • XML: 4
  • Total: 364
  • BibTeX: 2
  • EndNote: 2
Views and downloads (calculated since 01 Feb 2021)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 01 Feb 2021)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 314 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 314 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Latest update: 12 May 2021
Download
Short summary
Sea ice was retreating with rapid warming in the Arctic. It will continue and approach to the worst predicted pathway released by IPCC. The irreversible tipping point might show around 2060 when the oldest ice is completely disappeared. It has huge impacts on human's production. Ordinary merchant ships will capable of passing the Northeast Passage and Northwest Passage in the midcentury, and the opening time will advance to the next ten years for icebreaker with moderate ice strengthening.