Sea ice and oceanography

Brandon, Mark A.; Cottier, Finlo R. and Nilsen, Frank (2009). Sea ice and oceanography. In: Thomas, David N. and Dieckmann, Gerhard S. eds. Sea Ice. UK: Wiley-Blackwell.



In this chapter we briefly review some areas of polar oceanography where there is a close connection or interaction between the ocean and the sea ice. The range of interactions includs the modification of salt and heat budgets, feedback mechanisms (both positive and negative), and the chemical signatures they leave on the water masses. We finish by highlighting two potentially very useful sampling technologies that can significantly increase the size of the current data sets. In all cases, we stress that there is a two-way response whereby the presence or absence of sea ice has a profound effect on the oceanography, and oceanographic structures have a critical role in modifying or maintaining the sea ice cover. In the Arctic, we are in an era of rapid changes in the ice cover and in the Antarctic there remain fundamental challenges in the observation and characterisation of the shelf processes. Both regions present scientific and technological challenges to quantify and predict the ice-ocean coupling that can fundamentally alter the global oceanographic processes. We are now standing on the brink of an exciting era with an armoury of techniques to take up these challenges. The use of AUVs, gliders, drifters, mammals and chemical tracers will all play their part in our future investigations of the interactions between sea ice and oceanography.

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