The Sea Ice System in Antarctic Summer, Oden Southern Ocean Expedition (OSO 2010-11)
Several aspect of the seasonal melting and reformation cycle of Antarctic sea ice appear to be divergent from those occurring in the Arctic. This is most clearly demonstrated by the dramatic diminishing extent and thinning of the Arctic sea ice, to be contrasted to the changes in Antarctic sea-ice extent, which recently (decadaly) shows small increases. Current climate models do not resolve this discrepancy which likely results from both a lack of relevant observational sea-ice data in the Antarctic, along with inadequacies in the physical parameterization of sea-ice properties in climate models.
Researchers will take advantage of the cruise track of the I/B Oden during transit through the Antarctic sea-ice zones in the region of the Bellingshausen, Amundsen and Ross (BAR) seas on a cruise to McMurdo Station. Because of its remoteness and inaccessibility, the BAR region is of considerable scientific interest as being one of the last under described and perhaps unexploited marine ecosystems left on the planet .
A series of on station and underway observations of sea ice properties will be undertaken, thematically linked to broader questions of summer ice survival and baseline physical properties (e.g. estimates of heat and salt fluxes). In situ spatiotemporal variability of sea-ice cover extent, thickness and snow cover depths will be observed.
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