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Relationships in Areal Variability: The Ross Sea Polynya and Ice


General increases in Antarctic sea ice coverage occur primarily in the Ross Sea. This study investigates the Ross Sea Polynya's relationship with the Ross Sea ice areal coverage. A unique, relatively long term Ross Sea Polynya area dataset was created through the application of the Polynya Signature Simulation Method (PSSM) onto Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) data inputs. Bivariate regression analyses were used to determine the relationships, at the 95% confidence level, between Ross Sea Polynya and ice areal trends, annual seasonalities, and anomalies at the full temporal scale as well as the monthly level. Polynya and sea ice have significant positive relationships in the late austral summer and early spring (February to March), and a significant negative relationship in the late austral winter (August). The areal anomalies only had a significant relationship in February, while the trends were not correlated at any time.

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