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Increasing Multiyear Sea Ice Loss in the Beaufort Sea: A New Export Pathway for the Diminishing Multiyear Ice Cover of the Arctic Ocean
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  • David Gareth Babb,
  • Ryan J. Galley,
  • Stephen E. L. Howell,
  • Jack Christopher Landy,
  • Julienne Christine Stroeve,
  • David G. Barber
David Gareth Babb
University of Manitoba

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Ryan J. Galley
Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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Stephen E. L. Howell
Environment and Climate Change Canada
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Jack Christopher Landy
University of Tromsø - The Artic University of Norway
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Julienne Christine Stroeve
University of Manitoba
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David G. Barber
University of Manitoba
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Abstract

Historically multiyear sea ice (MYI) covered a majority of the Arctic and circulated through the Beaufort Gyre for years. However, increased ice melt in the Beaufort Sea during the early-2000s was proposed to have severed this circulation. Constructing a regional MYI budget from 1997-2021 reveals that MYI import into the Beaufort Sea has increased year-round, yet less MYI now survives through summer and is transported onwards in the Gyre. Annual average MYI loss quadrupled over the study period and increased from ~7% to ~33% of annual Fram Strait MYI export, while the peak in 2018 (385,000 km^2) was similar to Fram Strait MYI export. An accelerating ice-albedo feedback coupled with dynamic conditioning towards younger thinner MYI is responsible for the increased MYI loss. MYI transport through the Beaufort Gyre has not been severed, but it has been reduced so severely to prevent it from being redistributed throughout the Arctic Ocean
16 May 2022Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 49 issue 9. 10.1029/2021GL097595