What is it about?

Antarctic sea ice melts faster than it grows. A band of low pressure caused by the combined effect of frequent individual storms circles Antarctica. The winds on either side of this low-pressure band provide an Ekman component to sea ice motion. Twice-yearly changes in the position and intensity of these zonal winds work with or against the evolving sea ice edge to slow the autumn advance and hasten the spring retreat.

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Why is it important?

In order to project trends in Antarctic sea ice and understand changes on longer time scales, we need to understand the mechanisms related to the seasonal cycle separately from those that drive variability.

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This page is a summary of: Understanding the seasonal cycle of Antarctic sea ice extent in the context of longer‐term variability, Reviews of Geophysics, July 2019, American Geophysical Union (AGU), DOI: 10.1029/2018rg000631.
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