Link between Ozone Hole and Antarctic Sea Ice Increase In Question
11.10.2010 - Atmosphere & Space, Water & Oceans, Ice & Snow, Antarctic
The apparent paradox sea ice receding in the Arctic and yet increasing in the Antarctic has been a question scientists have been trying to answer in recent years. While previous studies had indicated that the increase in sea ice cover might be due to the hole in the ozone layer and the resulting perturbations in atmospheric circulation in austral summer, the results of a new study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, suggests there is no such link.
In their investigation, M. Sigmond from the Department of Physics at the University of Toronto, and J. C. Fyfe, from the Canadian Centre for Climate Modeling and Analysis, Environment Canada, simulated the effects of stratospheric ozone depletion on Antarctic sea ice extent using a climate model. Unlike previous studies, their model suggests that ozone depletion could lead to year-round decrease in Antarctic sea ice extent rather than the increase that was observed.
While the origin of the difference in sea ice trends in the Northern and the Southern Hemispheres remain unclear, the results of the study show that other processes besides ozone depletion could be causing the increase in Antarctic sea ice extent.