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The Statistical Properties of Sea Ice Velocity Fields
Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita). Yale University, USA; University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
Number of Authors: 2
2017 (English)In: Journal of Climate, ISSN 0894-8755, E-ISSN 1520-0442, Vol. 30, no 13, 4873-4881 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

By arguing that the surface pressure field over the Arctic Ocean can be treated as an isotropic, stationary, homogeneous, Gaussian random field, Thorndike estimated a number of covariance functions from two years of data (1979 and 1980). Given the active interest in changes of general circulation quantities and indices in the polar regions during the recent few decades, the spatial correlations in sea ice velocity fields are of particular interest. It is thus natural to ask, How persistent are these correlations?'' To this end, a multifractal stochastic treatment is developed to analyze observed Arctic sea ice velocity fields from satellites and buoys for the period 1978-2015. Since it was previously found that the Arctic equivalent ice extent (EIE) has a white noise structure on annual to biannual time scales, the connection between EIE and ice motion is assessed. The long-term stationarity of the spatial correlation structure of the velocity fields and the robustness of their white noise structure on multiple time scales is demonstrated; these factors (i) combine to explain the white noise characteristics of the EIE on annual to biannual time scales and (ii) explain why the fluctuations in the ice velocity are proportional to fluctuations in the geostrophic winds on time scales of days to months. Moreover, it is shown that the statistical structure of these two quantities is commensurate from days to years, which may be related to the increasing prevalence of free drift in the ice pack.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 30, no 13, 4873-4881 p.
Keyword [en]
Arctic, Sea ice, Buoy observations, Satellite observations, Stochastic models, Interannual variability
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-144771DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0653.1ISI: 000402380900007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-144771DiVA: diva2:1127598
Available from: 2017-07-17 Created: 2017-07-17 Last updated: 2017-07-17Bibliographically approved

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