Category Archives: DACA-13

DACA-13: is Okhotsk Sea to blame for recent wet UK summers?

By Liz Kalaugher

Increased melting in winter and spring of sea ice on the Okhotsk Sea could be partly to blame for the recent run of wet summers in the UK. That’s according to a poster at DACA-13 by James Screen of the University of Exeter, who reckons the Okhotsk Sea could be in a ‘sweet spot’ for affecting general global circulation and storm tracks because of its location relatively far south.

Screen’s simulations indicate that the reduced ice cover could set up a quasi-stationary Rossby wave train with low pressure over the North Pacific, eastern US and Europe and high pressure over the central US and Atlantic.

The cause of the recent trend for wet summers in the UK is likely to be a combination of natural variability, sea ice changes, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, and ‘other factors we are still grappling with,’ Screen said.

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DACA-13: from ice drift to ice cliffs

By Liz Kalaugher

In the central Arctic the speed of sea ice drift shows both a seasonal cycle and a long-term trend. Now, Einar Olason of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg reckons he’s discovered three regimes that govern drift, depending on the time of year.

As he detailed at DACA-13 in Davos, between June and November mean ice drift speed varies with ice concentration, with ice tending to move faster as its concentration decreases. From December to March drift speed is inversely linked to ice thickness. And in April and May, when both ice thickness and concentration are constant, it’s fracture formation that makes the difference by weakening the ice cover and causing it to move more speedily.

The long-term trend in sea ice drift speed apparent in August, September and October seems to be linked to sea ice concentration.

Rob DeConto of the University of Massachusetts, meanwhile, believes that adding marine ice cliff failure into Antarctic ice-sheet models could help account for the ten metres or so of sea-level rise in the Pliocene around 3 million years ago that the models can’t reproduce.

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DACA-13: monitoring sea ice minute by minute

By Liz Kalaugher

It wasn’t until remote-sensing specialist Andreas Kääb of the University of Oslo flew over Canada’s Lawrence River and saw floating ice that he came up with an application for the time delay that occurs when satellites take stereo images to map elevation. This delay, which is otherwise an irritation, could in fact be used to measure the motion of ice over periods of just a minute or so, he realised.

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DACA-13: taking polar bears to Antarctica?

By Liz Kalaugher

As Arctic sea ice melts, the polar bear could ultimately become extinct. But could asssisted relocation of the species to Antarctica work as a conservation measure? That’s what Madison Hall of Michigan State University, US, is investigating, as detailed in a poster at DACA-13.

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DACA-13: a meeting of ice and air

DACA_13 conference in Davos

Picture window – the view at the DACA-13 conference in Davos, Switzerland.

By Liz Kalaugher

Davos has close links to the cryosphere. It’s home to the SLF Centre for Snow and Avalanche Research and sitting at 1560 m is the highest town in the Swiss Alps. With that in mind, the Davos Atmosphere and Cryosphere Assembly (DACA-13) has brought together 900 researchers in a location surrounded by mountains.

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