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      The New Minimum of Sea Ice Concentration in the Central Arctic in 2016

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          In view of the extremely low sea ice concentration (SIC) appeared at high latitudes of the Arctic in the summer of 2010, the changes of SIC in the central Arctic from 2010 to 2017 were investigated in this paper based on the AMSR-E/AMSR-2 SIC products retrieved by the NT2 algorithm. The results show that the extremely low sea ice concentration in the central Arctic not only occurred in 2010 but also occurred again in 2016, and the daily average sea ice concentration (ASIC) reached a minimum of 0.70, which was significantly lower than the value of 0.78 in 2010 and became a new historical low record. A large area of sea ice in the sector 150°E–180° in 2010 disappeared in 2016, which was the most important difference to produce the new minimum. Also, the ice edge in 2016 retreated into the 85°N circle, whereas in 2010 it was far from the central Arctic. In 2010 and 2016, there were high correlations between the wind stress curl and the relative variation rate of ASIC, which indicates that wind stress curl (WSC) drove the divergence of sea ice. It directly leads to the decrease in the SIC and is the main cause of the extremely low SIC events. The results in this paper show that the decline of Arctic sea ice is represented by not only the reduction of sea ice coverage but also the reduction of SICs. The central Arctic has always been covered by large amount of sea ices, so the drastic reduction of SIC will not only change the structure of the ice field, but also lead to critical climatic effects that deserve further attention.

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          Author and article information

          Journal of Ocean University of China
          Science Press and Springer (China )
          02 May 2020
          01 June 2020
          : 19
          : 3
          : 569-576
          1College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China
          2Key Laboratory of Physical Oceanography, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China
          Author notes
          *Corresponding author: ZHAO Jinping, E-mail: jpzhao@
          Copyright © Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2020.

          The copyright to this article, including any graphic elements therein (e.g. illustrations, charts, moving images), is hereby assigned for good and valuable consideration to the editorial office of Journal of Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer effective if and when the article is accepted for publication and to the extent assignable if assignability is restricted for by applicable law or regulations (e.g. for U.S. government or crown employees).

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