Sea ice research at ACE CRC


International Symposium on Sea Ice in a Changing Climate

The International Glaciogical Society (IGS)  held its 4th sea ice symposium in Hobart, Tasmania on 10-14 March 2014. The symposium aims to assess the current state of marine cryosphere, which is one of the fastest responders to climate change and variability in both hemispheres. The conference embraces multiple aspects of sea ice science, including cryospheric physics and climate, ice-ocean-atmosphere interactions, biogeochemistry, ecosystems research, policy, logistics, science communication.

See the conference website for further information.

ACE CRC sea ice research

The sea ice research group is part of the Climate Variability and Change group within the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC, and the Ice oceans atmospheres and climate program of the AAD. Both physical and biological processes in Antarctic sea ice are investigated within the group.

Antarctic sea ice in a nutshell

Sea ice is frozen seawater. It forms when the surface layer of the ocean becomes cold enough to freeze, not to be confused with icebergs, which have their origin in land glaciers.

In the southern ocean, a vast area of sea ice forms and melts every year. In the Southern hemisphere winter, sea ice covers up to 19 million square kilometres of the southern ocean. Over this area, exchange of energy and gases between the ocean and atmosphere is controlled by the extent, concentration and thickness of the sea ice cover. Antarctic sea ice also plays a role in oceanic circulation, and is host to an immense biological system which sustains everything from tiny microbial life to blue whales.

For a broader view, the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre’s ‘all about sea ice‘ page provides a an excellent and well-illustrated introduction to sea ice in its global context.

The list below is a brief snapshot of the research activities of the sea ice group

  • Estimating the thickness of Antarctic sea ice
  • Investigating ice motion and ocean/atmosphere/ice energy exchange
  • Deriving physical properties of sea ice from remote sensing products
  • Validation of satellite-based remote sensing products
  • Investigation of trace elements in sea ice
 Posted by at 12:27 pm