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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Antarctic Sea Ice Variability in the Southern Ocean-Climate System: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24696.
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Appendix A
Statement of Task

An ad hoc National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee will plan a workshop to bring together Antarctic sea ice experts to review the current science for climate-ocean–ice interactions in the Southern Hemisphere, with an outlook back 50 years and an emphasis on the record extents observed in the last 3 years. Workshop attendees will be asked to examine the processes governing decadal-scale growth and recent surge in Antarctic sea ice extent and projections of future Antarctic sea ice changes, and identify how to improve our understanding of current and future Antarctic sea ice changes. Specific topics to be addressed at the workshop include

  1. Observations of changes in Antarctic sea ice and the broader Antarctic environment:
    • What have we learned from the satellite data record?
    • What have we learned from available in situ and proxy data records?
    • How can we extend the satellite time series back in time (e.g., using pre-1979 satellite data, ship observations, and other proxies)?
    • What do we need to improve satellite validation of Antarctic sea ice concentration, thickness, and snow cover?
    • What new satellite observations would help improve our understanding?
    • What new in situ and proxy observations would help improve our understanding?
  2. Process-based studies of changes in Antarctic sea ice and the broader Antarctic environment:
    • What have we learned from process-based studies?
    • What have we learned about feedbacks in the ice-ocean-atmosphere system and how they may be contributing to the growing sea ice cover?
    • What additional process-based studies could improve our understanding?
  3. Models of changes in Antarctic sea ice and the broader Antarctic environment:
    • What have we learned from sea ice and climate models?
    • What are the best projections of future Antarctic sea ice?
    • What types of data synthesis and field experiments are needed for improving sea ice and climate models?
    • What types of focused model intercomparisons could help address model discrepancies?
    • What is needed to improve the forcing fields in Antarctica to improve modeled simulations?
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Antarctic Sea Ice Variability in the Southern Ocean-Climate System: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24696.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Antarctic Sea Ice Variability in the Southern Ocean-Climate System: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24696.
×
Page 45
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Antarctic Sea Ice Variability in the Southern Ocean-Climate System: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24696.
×
Page 46
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The sea ice surrounding Antarctica has increased in extent and concentration from the late 1970s, when satellite-based measurements began, until 2015. Although this increasing trend is modest, it is surprising given the overall warming of the global climate and the region. Indeed, climate models, which incorporate our best understanding of the processes affecting the region, generally simulate a decrease in sea ice. Moreover, sea ice in the Arctic has exhibited pronounced declines over the same period, consistent with global climate model simulations. For these reasons, the behavior of Antarctic sea ice has presented a conundrum for global climate change science.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop in January 2016, to bring together scientists with different sets of expertise and perspectives to further explore potential mechanisms driving the evolution of recent Antarctic sea ice variability and to discuss ways to advance understanding of Antarctic sea ice and its relationship to the broader ocean-climate system. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

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