Climate Dynamics

, Volume 38, Issue 11–12, pp 2355–2363 | Cite as

Sea ice trends in the Antarctic and their relationship to surface air temperature during 1979–2009

  • Qi Shu
  • Fangli QiaoEmail author
  • Zhenya Song
  • Chunzai Wang


Surface air temperature (SAT) from four reanalysis/analysis datasets are analyzed and compared with the observed SAT from 11 stations in the Antarctic. It is found that the SAT variation from Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) is the best to represent the observed SAT. Then we use the sea ice concentration (SIC) data from satellite measurements, the SAT data from the GISS dataset and station observations to examine the trends and variations of sea ice and SAT in the Antarctic during 1979–2009. The Antarctic sea ice extent (SIE) shows an increased trend during 1979–2009, with a trend rate of 1.36 ± 0.43% per decade. Ensemble empirical mode decomposition analysis shows that the rate of the increased trend has been accelerating in the past decade. Antarctic SIE trend depends on the season, with the maximum increase occurring in autumn. If the relationship between SIC and GISS SAT trends is examined regionally, Antarctic SIC trends agree well with the local SAT trends in the most Antarctic regions. That is, Antarctic SIC and SAT show an inverse relationship: a cooling (warming) SAT trend is associated with an upward (downward) SIC trend. It is also concluded that the relationship between sea ice and SAT trends in the Antarctic should be examined regionally rather than integrally.


Southern Annular Mode Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



SIC data is provided by, GISS SAT data is available from, NCEP/NCAR reanalysis SAT data is from, COREs SAT data is provided by, and ECMWF SAT data is available from, 11 stations SAT data are download from The authors thank the above data providers. This study is supported by 973 Project (No. 2010CB950301; No. 2010CB950502) and the Key Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 40730842).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qi Shu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fangli Qiao
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Zhenya Song
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chunzai Wang
    • 3
  1. 1.First Institute of OceanographyState Oceanic AdministrationQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Marine Science and Numerical ModelingState Oceanic AdministrationQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological LaboratoryMiamiUSA

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