EGU General Assembly 2007
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  Information - OS7 High latitude changes in ocean, ice and climate (co-listed in CR & CL)

Event Information
The polar regions raise considerable scientific interest due to recent changes and multi-decadal scale variability. The Arctic Sea ice summer extent is shrinking at a rate of 7-9 % per decade, and we have indication for sea ice thinning and increasingly warm inflow of Atlantic Water into the Arctic. Trends in the Antarctic are less clear, but we also see a dynamic range of changes, such as disintegration of icebergs, warming in certain peripheral areas and cooling in the pole region.
Possible reasons for current changes are seen in large scale circulation changes with partly unclear connection to the ongoing global warming.
Large scale changes might have triggered self-sustaining polar feedback mechanisms. The strength and character of feedbacks depends on small-scale and coastal processes as well as on large scale dynamics. An integrated understanding of the ongoing and possible future changes in high latitudes requires more field observations as well as further improved modelling capabilities. Model development greatly benefits from observations, and models can help optimizing observational campaigns.
The upcoming IPY is igniting a focussed research effort in the Polar oceans. Programs like DAMOCLES, SEARCH and others are utilizing a new generation of observational tools, e.g. autonomous underwater vehicles, with the potential to advance our understanding of processes under the ice.
The 20th century has shown considerable variability. Besides focussing on changes in recent years and decades, much information on coupled polar systems can be gained from longterm studies involving past observations, proxy data, reconstruction and modelling efforts. To improve understanding and simulation capabilities, we need to extent efforts to decennial and multi-decennial timescales.
For this session we encourage presentations on processes in ocean, atmosphere and ice, affecting Arctic or Antarctic oceans with their varying ice cover and interaction with the global oceans. Observational studies are as welcome as reconstruction and modelling results of past, recent and possible future climate in the polar regions.

Preliminary List of Solicited Speakers


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