A 26-year (1979-2004) observational record of January multiyear sea ice distributions, derived from neural network analysis of SMMR-SSM/I passive microwave satellite data, reveals dense and persistent cover in the central Arctic basin surrounded by expansive regions of highly fluctuating interannual cover. Following a decade of quasi equilibrium, precipitous declines in multiyear ice area commenced in 1989 when the Arctic Oscillation shifted to a pronounced positive phase. Although extensive survival of first-year ice during autumn 1996 fully replenished the area of multiyear ice, a subsequent and accelerated decline returned the depletion to record lows. The most dramatic multiyear sea ice declines occurred in the East Siberian, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.
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Variations in the Arctic's multiyear sea ice cover: A neural network analysis of SMMR-SSM/I data, 1979-2004