The details of clime feedbacks: Warmer Southern Ocean but more sea ice?

“The overwhelming evidence is that the Southern Ocean is warming. Why would sea ice be increasing? Although the rate of increase is small, it is a puzzle to scientists.”

The polar vortex that swirls around the South Pole is not just stronger than it was when satellite records began in the 1970s, it has more convergence, meaning it shoves the sea ice together to cause ridging. Stronger winds also drive ice faster, which leads to still more deformation and ridging. This creates thicker, longer-lasting ice, while exposing surrounding water and thin ice to the blistering cold winds that cause more ice growth.

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Alvaro Peliz
Instituto Dom Luiz, FCUL