The flow and variability of sea-ice in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: modelling the past (1950-2004) and the future (2041-2060)




Sou, Theressa V.

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Considering the recent losses observed in Arctic sea-ice and the anticipated future warming due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, sea-ice retreat in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) is expected. As most global climate models do not resolve the CAA region, a fine-resolution regional model is developed to provide a sense of possible changes in the CAA sea-ice. This ice-ocean coupled model is forced with atmospheric data for two time-periods. Results from a historical run (1950-2004)are used to validate the model. The model does well in representing observed sea-ice spatial and seasonal variability, but tends to underestimate summertime ice cover. In the future run (2041-2060), wintertime ice concentrations change little, but the summertime ice concentrations decrease by 45%. The ice thickness also decreases, by 17% in the winter, and by 36% in summer. Based on this study, a completely ice-free CAA is unlikely by the year 2050, but the region could support some commercial shipping.



sea-ice, Canadian Arctic