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Sea ice

  • Dorothy K. Hall
  • Jaroslav Martinec
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Abstract

Sea ice (Figs 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3) is present over approximately 13% of the Earth’s ocean surface (Weeks, 1981). It is a highly variable feature and its presence or absence at any given time has a profound effect on the Earth’s radiation budget. The albedo of ice-covered ocean is dramatically higher than that of open water. Additionally, the ice cover is an insulating layer between the ocean and atmosphere; heat loss through open water is approximately 100 times greater than heat loss through thick ice. As a consequence, leads and polynyas (linear and non-linear openings in sea ice) are significant to the energy budget of the ice-covered ocean and to local and regional climatology. Such open water areas and areas of reduced ice concentration are also important for shipping in ice-covered seas.

Keywords

Weddell Polynya Side Look Radar 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd. and J. Martinec 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorothy K. Hall
  • Jaroslav Martinec

There are no affiliations available

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