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32nd Annual Arctic Workshop Abstracts
March 14-16, 2002
INSTAAR, University of Colorado at Boulder

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SCHARIEN, RANDALL K.. University of Calgary.
Yackel, John J. . University of Calgary.
Barber, David G. . University of Manitoba.

The sensitivity of Arctic regions to climate change scenarios is well documented. This sensitivity is primarily driven by a positive albedo-feeback linkage between sea ice and albedo. Sea ice plays a critical role in the exchange of heat and moisture between the ocean and atmosphere by acting as a 'skin' that, when snow covered, reflects approximately 85% of incident solar radiation. As such, observed reductions in total sea ice extent and thickness (e.g., Cavalieri et al., 1997; Rothrock et al., 1999) have implications for affecting the climate state of the Arctic. Microwave remote sensing has proved to be an effective tool for studying and monitoring large-scale Arctic sea ice processes.

The Collaborative Interdisciplinary Cryospheric Experiment (C-ICE) is an annual field experiment that has evolved from research relating to four general themes: i. sea ice energy balance; ii. numerical modeling of atmospheric processes, iii. remote sensing of snow covered sea ice; and iv. ecosystem studies. It is comprised of many individual projects within a core sampling program. The goal of the core sampling program is to capture accurate and precise long-term data to detect changes that may be occurring in the Arctic marine system. The C-ICE experiment, combined with previous SIMMS field experiments, provides over a decade of comprehensive data collection in the Arctic.

The C-ICE field experiment provides sea ice surface data required to understand and model the process linkages operating in an environment typical of fast-ice conditions Canadian Arctic Archipelago (Barber and Iacozza eds., 1999). Field data is integrated with numerical models of primary processes in the study region, for the expressed purpose of 'scaling up' observations to more regional scales. This 'scaling up' of observations allows for the integration of microwave remote sensing data for the inversion of surface geophysical characteristics. Currently, the C-ICE project includes the collection of micrometeorological data (i.e., relative humidity, air temperature, wind speed and direction, solar and longwave radiation, etc.), cloud observations (i.e., height, visual observations, occurrence of precipitation), snow and sea ice physical and morphological characteristics and distribution, melt pond evolution, biological data (i.e., ice algae, water column, sedimentation), and remotely sensed imagery (i.e., RADARSAT-1 imagery, surface-based radiometry, and paraglider video data).

This paper summarizes the principal driving themes of the C-ICE experiment, as well as past, current, and future projects conducted within it. In particular, the utilization of microwave remote sensing data with C-ICE field data is reviewed.

Barber, D.B. and J. Iacozza (eds.). C-ICE 1999 Field Summary. CEOSTEC-99-1-1 (Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1999).

Parkinson, C.L., D.J. Cavalieri, P. Gloersen, H.J. Zwally and J.C. Comiso. 1999. Arctic sea ice extents, areas, and trends, 1978-1996. J. Geophys. Res. 92: 7049-7059.

Rothrock, D.A., Y. Yu and G.A. Maykut, 1999. Thinning of Arctic sea ice cover. Geophys. Res. Lett. 26: 3469-3472.


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