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Data in Action: Salinity and Stratification at the Sea Ice Edge (SASSIE) NASA Arctic Field Campaign

Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2024 4:46 pm America/New_York
by PODAAC - colleen
Sea ice extent in the Arctic Ocean has declined dramatically over the past decades. Sea ice advance in the Fall is slower and occurs later, while Summer sea ice melt is faster and occurs earlier. The result is a lengthening open-water period of 1 to 2 days each year, leading to changes in exchanges of heat between the atmosphere and the ocean, the water cycle, surface albedo (fraction of sunlight reflected back to the atmosphere) feedbacks, biological activity, and regional and global climate as well as human and ecological health. Therefore, it is of extreme importance to improve our understanding of the mechanisms that govern sea ice formation which is critical to understanding and predicting the impacts of the changing Arctic cryosphere.

Unlike other places in the world’s oceans, salinity controls stratification in the polar oceans, with colder, less-dense fresher waters situated above warmer, denser saltier waters. Therefore, variations in upper ocean salinity allows....

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