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Author Topic: Ice Export through Bering Strait?  (Read 5050 times)

KactionJ

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Ice Export through Bering Strait?
« on: April 14, 2013, 03:56:18 PM »
I haven't seen this discussed in other threads (my apologies if I missed it), but does anyone have a sense of how much ice may have been exported through the Bering Strait this late winter/spring?  I haven't found any site that tracks it, unlike Fram, so this seems like the best place to ask.

My suspicion is that there really isn't a site that tracks it closely because the ice sheet in the Chukchi is normally much more contiguous or solid, which would limit export.  But this years early fragmentation event certainly seems to have allowed for a decent chunk of export.

Disclaimer:  I'm just going by eye-balling Modis images here.  Please correct me if I'm just way off base.

Keith

Jim Williams

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Re: Ice Export through Bering Strait?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2013, 04:25:46 PM »
The current there is Northerly, and so far I haven't found anything to indicate that it will reverse in Winter.  I guess the wind could blow some ice south, but it's not going to be any great bulk of the ice.

There is a strong current flowing south on the east side of Greenland carrying ice through Fran strait.

Dave C

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Re: Ice Export through Bering Strait?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2013, 05:51:06 PM »
My guess would be zero, based on this video and others I've seen.  It appears that virtually all ice that exits does so between Greenland and Russia.

http://www.climatewatch.noaa.gov/video/2011/old-ice-becoming-rare-in-arctic

ChrisReynolds

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Re: Ice Export through Bering Strait?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2013, 06:35:30 PM »
Net might be zero (i.e. total of export and import). Fram is a far bigger player, furthermore Fram loses multi year ice, this year there's only been first year ice near Bering.

crandles

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Re: Ice Export through Bering Strait?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2013, 10:36:17 PM »
The current there is Northerly

I thought Pacific water entered Arctic below surface (to about 80m deep) but surface waters/ice were flowing more out of Arctic than in. But I could beam wrong.

Are currents at surface and at depth usually in opposite directions?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 10:52:08 PM by crandles »

Neven

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Re: Ice Export through Bering Strait?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2013, 10:44:18 PM »
One could have a look at Rebecca Woodgate's site.
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ggelsrinc

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Re: Ice Export through Bering Strait?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2013, 11:26:40 PM »
I haven't seen this discussed in other threads (my apologies if I missed it), but does anyone have a sense of how much ice may have been exported through the Bering Strait this late winter/spring?  I haven't found any site that tracks it, unlike Fram, so this seems like the best place to ask.

My suspicion is that there really isn't a site that tracks it closely because the ice sheet in the Chukchi is normally much more contiguous or solid, which would limit export.  But this years early fragmentation event certainly seems to have allowed for a decent chunk of export.

Disclaimer:  I'm just going by eye-balling Modis images here.  Please correct me if I'm just way off base.

Keith

I do recall seeing a video of the fragmentation event that looks like sea ice exiting the Bering Strait, but it could just be the fragmentation exiting. It's not my field of expertise, but Fram and Nares are the exists I know about and I think Nares is considered around 10%. The currents in the Arctic Ocean are mostly influenced by wind direction. I've always been told Bering Straits had a northerly current. I don't know if it's continuously a northern current, but I think we saw the same video. It did look like an exit of sea ice.

slow wing

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Re: Ice Export through Bering Strait?
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2013, 12:00:15 AM »
There is some ice transport out through the Bering Strait at the moment...




The rate is some tens of cm/s, which is some tens of km/day, and such patterns tend to only last for days, not weeks, so the ice only travels of order 100 km before going back the other way when the pattern reverses. For comparison, the image shows the latitude lines at 60N and 70N bracketing the strait and the distance between those lines is 1111 km. So it is up to you whether you choose to describe much shorter outwards drift distances as "export". Personally, I wouldn't.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 12:13:17 AM by slow wing »

KactionJ

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Re: Ice Export through Bering Strait?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2013, 01:16:41 AM »
Thanks for all the replies, and for the link Neven.  Looks like the answer is somewhere between not much and not at all...  :)  That's what I get for trusting my eyes and not looking for the ice blowing/drifting right back in.