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Patterns of atmospheric moisture transport linked to Southern Ocean Sea ice coverage changes
* 1 , 2 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1
1  EPhysLab (Environmental Physics Laboratory), Facultade de Ciencias, Universidade de Vigo, Ourense, Spain
2  Dpt. of Atmospheric Sciences, IAG, University of São Paulo, Brazil


Moisture sources identification and Sea Ice Concentration (SIC) were calculated for the period 1980-2016 for the Southern Ocean Sea. Five sectors of the Southern Ocean Sea (King Hakon VII, East Antarctic, Ross/Amundsen, Amundsen and Bellingshausen, Weddell) were selected to calculate their moisture sources. The results show that the most important moisture sources (calculated as positive values of Evaporation minus Precipitation, E-P>0) for these five seas come from extratropical latitudes in the storm track trajectories. The main moisture sources and affected regional seas are: Southern Australia (SAUS) moisture source which affect mainly Ross/Amundsen and Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas; the Atlantic Ocean is the main source of moisture for Weddell and King Hakon VII; and the Pacific Ocean provides moisture to Ross/Amundsen, Weddell and Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas. For most of these seas it was identified positive trends of E-P>0 anomalies, while negative trends were identified only for the SAUS moisture source to Amundsen and Bellingshausen Sea. In terms of SIC, for the whole Antarctic the total anomalies are increasing, but no breaking points in this time serie were detected. Preliminary results also indicate some areas, which do not coincide exactly with the limit of the regional seas, where the increase of Sea Ice Extension (SIE) is statistically significant.

Keywords: Atmospheric moisture transport, Southern Ocean Ice Change, Lagrangian approaches
Comments on this paper
Anita Drumond
defining the target area
Dear authors,


Just one question, please. For each region individually, does the target area vary in a monthly scale following the SIE spatial distribution observed during the 37-yr period?

Raquel Nieto
Thanks for the comment,
of course the SIE changes month by month. For the backward experiment (to determine the sources of moiture for each region) the area from the particles flow back is different, but in the figure we plot the higher SIE to indicate the region. In the future paper we will clarify this better.