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Ice cliff retreat and sea-ice formation observed around King Sejong Station in King George Island, West Antarctica

세종기지 주변에서 관찰된 빙벽 후퇴와 바다 결빙

  • Published : 2004.03.31

Abstract

Ice cliff retreat and sea-ice formation around King Sejong Station in King George Island were analysed and compared with air temperature change. Analysis of 33-year (1969-2001) air temperature records at Bellingshausen Station has revealed regional atmospheric warming, and the increasing rate of air temperature Is equivalent to a warming of $1^{\circ}C$ for 27-year period. Here we present time-series of observations for the areal extent of the ice cliff and ice sheet, showing that they have retreated dramatically in the past 45 years (1956-2001). Retreat of 1,050 m in length of the ice clifr has changed the Marian Cove into a low rectangular form of 4 km in length and 1 to 1.3km in width. The retreat rates have since increased from 6 m/yr of the Primary investigated Period to 54 and 81m/yr in the recent years. Exceptionally, the ice cliff had been advanced of 21m in length for a year between 1987 and 1988 of cold winters. Ice sheet in King George Island also shows a similar decrease, and the decreasing extent is much larger at the southern part of the Main Cove, relatively more exposed to the sun, than at the northern part. Comparing sea-ice formation in winter with air temperature data shows a pattern starting to freeze below $-5^{\circ}C$ and to thaw over $-3^{\circ}C$. It is conclusively estimated that the patterns and magnitudes of ice cliff retreat and sea-ice formation are consistent with fluctuations of the air temperature, and that the recent rapid retreat of ice cliff and less formation of sea-ice are caused especially by the warming trends in autumn accompanied with expansion of summer thawing period.

Keywords

Antarctica;ice cliff retreat;warming;King George Island;sea-ice

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