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Journal Article

Sea ice leads in the Arctic Ocean: Model assessment, interannual variability and trends

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Wang, Q., Danilov, S., Jung, T., Kaleschke, L., & Wernecke, A. (2016). Sea ice leads in the Arctic Ocean: Model assessment, interannual variability and trends. Geophysical Research Letters, 43(13), 7019-7027. doi:10.1002/2016GL068696.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-1934-F
Sea ice leads in the Arctic are important features that give rise to strong localized atmospheric heating; they provide the opportunity for vigorous biological primary production, and predicting leads may be of relevance for Arctic shipping. It is commonly believed that traditional sea ice models that employ elastic-viscous-plastic (EVP) rheologies are not capable of properly simulating sea ice deformation, including lead formation, and thus, new formulations for sea ice rheologies have been suggested. Here we show that classical sea ice models have skill in simulating the spatial and temporal variation of lead area fraction in the Arctic when horizontal resolution is increased (here 4.5 km in the Arctic) and when numerical convergence in sea ice solvers is considered, which is frequently neglected. The model results are consistent with satellite remote sensing data and discussed in terms of variability and trends of Arctic sea ice leads. It is found, for example, that wintertime lead area fraction during the last three decades has not undergone significant trends.