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Physics Colloquium - Dr Cecilia M. Bitz

Monday, 26 February 2018

Physics Department

Dr Cecilia M. Bitz

Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and Director of Program on Climate Change

University of Washington


"Conditions Leading to the Unprecedented Low Antarctic Sea Ice Extent During the 2016 Austral Spring Season"

The 2016 austral spring was characterized by the lowest Southern Hemisphere sea ice extent seen in the satellite record and coincided with anomalously warm surface waters surrounding most of Antarctica. Two distinct processes contributed to this event. First, the extreme El Niño event peaking in December–February 2015/2016 contributed to pronounced extratropical sea surface temperatures anomalies and sea ice extent anomalies in the eastern Ross, Amundsen, and Bellingshausen Seas that persisted in part until the following 2016 austral spring. Second, internal atmospheric variability of the Southern Annular Mode promoted the exceptional low sea ice extent in November–December 2016. These results suggest that a combination of tropically forced and internal atmospheric variability contributed to the unprecedented sea ice decline during the 2016 austral spring, on top of a background of slow changes expected from greenhouse gas and ozone forcing.

WHEN: Monday 26 February 2018
WHERE: Room 314, Science 3 Building
TIME: 3.00 pm–4.00 pm

All interested are welcome to attend

Light refreshments to follow in Common Room