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Between the devil and the deep blue sea: The role of the Amundsen Sea continental shelf in exchanges between ocean and ice shelves

Journal article
Authors Karen J. Heywood
Louise C. Biddle
Lars Boehme
Michael Fedak
Pierre Dutrieux
Adrian Jenkins
Jan Kaiser
Helen Mallett
Richard W. Jones
Alberto C. Naveira Garabato
Ian A. Renfrew
David P. Stevens
Benjamin G.M. Webber
Published in Oceanography
Volume 29
Pages 118-129
ISSN 10428275
Publication year 2016
Published at
Pages 118-129
Language en
Subject categories Oceanography

Abstract

© 2016 by The Oceanography Society. All rights reserved. The Amundsen Sea is a key region of Antarctica where ocean, atmosphere, sea ice, and ice sheet interact. For much of Antarctica, the relatively warm water of the open Southern Ocean (a few degrees above freezing) does not reach the Antarctic continental shelf in large volumes under current climate conditions. However, in the Amundsen Sea, warm water penetrates onto the continental shelf and provides heat that can melt the underside of the area’s floating ice shelves, thinning them. Here, we discuss how the ocean’s role in melting has come under increased scrutiny, present 2014 observations from the Amundsen Sea, and discuss their implications, highlighting aspects where understanding is still incomplete.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012
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