AbstractBy arguing that the surface pressure field over the Arctic Ocean can be treated as an isotropic, stationary, homogeneous, Gaussian random field, Thorndike estimated a number of covariance functions from two years of data (1979 and 1980). Given the active interest in changes of general circulation quantities and indices in the polar regions during the recent few decades, the spatial correlations in sea ice velocity fields are of particular interest. It is thus natural to ask; “how persistent are these correlations?” To this end, a multi-fractal stochastic treatment is developed to analyze observed Arctic sea ice velocity fields from satellites and buoys for the period 1978 - 2015. Having previously found that the Arctic Equivalent Ice Extent (EIE) has a white noise structure on annual to bi-annual time scales, the connection between EIE and ice motion is assessed. The long-term stationarity of the spatial correlation structure of the velocity fields, and the robustness of their white noise structure on multiple time scales is demonstrated, which (a) combine to explain the white noise characteristics of the EIE on annual to biannual time scales, and (b) explain why the fluctuations in the ice velocity are proportional to fluctuations in the geostrophic winds on time scales of days to months. Moreover, it is shown that the statistical structure of these two quantities is commensurate from days up to years, which may be related to the increasing prevalence of free drift in the ice pack.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Mar 27, 2017
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