Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Rapid Transition from Perennial to Seasonal Arctice Sea Ice

I recieved the following email:

Dear Colleagues,

We hope you will consider attending a special session of the AGU fall meeting titled "Rapid Transition From Perennial to Seasonal Arctic Sea Ice". Our goal for the session is to bring together a diverse group of researchers to examine the recent decline in summertime Arctic sea ice. We are interested in looking at rapid summer sea ice decline in the recent observational record, the paleoclimate record, and global warming simulations. We also wish to consider the ecological and societal implications of rapid summer sea ice decline. The session will include invited presentations by four prominent researchers:

Clara Deser (NCAR) - recent Arctic sea ice decline

Anne deVernal (U. Quebec Montreal) - Arctic sea ice in past climates

Harry Stern (Polar Science Center) - 'Tipping points' in Arctic sea ice

Steven Amstrup (USGS Alaska) - sea ice decline and Polar bears

The full session abstract is included below, and we would be happy to answer any questions about it (inquiries to deweaver@aos.wisc.edu). Please note that the deadline for AGU abstracts is September 7, 23:59UT.

We hope you will share this information with any interested colleagues.

Best Wishes,

Eric DeWeaver and Cecilia Bitz
(Session Conveners)
AGU special session C17:

Rapid Transition From Perennial to Seasonal Arctic Sea Ice


In recent times more than half the Arctic ocean has been covered year-round by sea ice, but the Arctic is now moving rapidly toward ice-free summers. In rough agreement with observations, some - but not all - climate models predict that the transition from perennial to seasonal sea ice will occur over the entire Arctic in this century. There is also speculation that abrupt sea ice transitions played an essential role in the rapid climate changes recorded in the Greenland ice cores. Beyond its climatic impact, a rapid change from perennial to seasonal sea ice will have dramatic societal and ecological effects, and the severity of these effects will depend in part of the abruptness of the change.

While the basic feedback mechanisms are known, our understanding of the climate sensitivity of sea ice is relatively primitive. We lack an understanding of the key determinants of the speed with which the transition from perennial to seasonal ice will occur. A better understanding is needed to evaluate the disparate results of climate model simulations, and to assess the extent to which sea ice change in past climates can serve as a meaningful proxy for the present transition.

Thus we invite papers which examine the transition to an ice-free Arctic summer based on theory, models of varying degrees of complexity, and observations from the instrumented record. We also seek papers that investigate rapid transitions in Arctic sea ice in the paleoclimate record and/or comparable sea ice behavior in the Antarctic. In addition, we welcome papers which consider the interannual and decadal variability of sea ice, as well as those addressing the far-field effects of sea ice change. To complement purely scientific studies of the sea ice transition, we further solicit papers on the policy implications of the transition, particularly those which focus on the implications of a rapid or abrupt transition.

Sponsor: Cryosphere
CoSponsors: Ocean Sciences
Global Environmental Change

Conveners: Eric DeWeaver
AOS Dept/CCR, University of Wisconsin-Madison
1225 West Dayton St
Madison, WI, USA 53706

Cecilia Bitz
Atmospheric Sciences Dept, University of Washington
408 Atmospheric Sciences Building
University of Washington
Seattle, WA, USA 98195-1640

There are a few of you that read this blog that might be able to participate and would have the interest as well. This came from the Paleoclimate mailing list.

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