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Arctic sea ice decline contributes to thinning lake ice trend in northern Alaska

Environmental Research Letters

By:
, , ORCID iD , and
https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/11/7/074022

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Abstract

Field measurements, satellite observations, and models document a thinning trend in seasonal Arctic lake ice growth, causing a shift from bedfast to floating ice conditions. September sea ice concentrations in the Arctic Ocean since 1991 correlate well (r = +0.69,p < 0.001) to this lake regime shift. To understand how and to what extent sea ice affects lakes, we conducted model experiments to simulate winters with years of high (1991/92) and low (2007/08) sea ice extent for which we also had field measurements and satellite imagery characterizing lake ice conditions. A lake ice growth model forced with Weather Research and Forecasting model output produced a 7% decrease in lake ice growth when 2007/08 sea ice was imposed on 1991/92 climatology and a 9% increase in lake ice growth for the opposing experiment. Here, we clearly link early winter 'ocean-effect' snowfall and warming to reduced lake ice growth. Future reductions in sea ice extent will alter hydrological, biogeochemical, and habitat functioning of Arctic lakes and cause sub-lake permafrost thaw.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Arctic sea ice decline contributes to thinning lake ice trend in northern Alaska
Series title:
Environmental Research Letters
DOI:
10.1088/1748-9326/11/7/074022
Volume:
11
Issue:
7
Year Published:
2016
Language:
English
Publisher:
Institute of Physics
Publisher location:
London
Contributing office(s):
Alaska Science Center Geography
Country:
United States
State:
Alaska
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N