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Observed Hemispheric Asymmetry in Global Sea Ice Changes

Science  07 Nov 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5340, pp. 1104-1106
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5340.1104

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Abstract

From November 1978 through December 1996, the areal extent of sea ice decreased by 2.9 ± 0.4 percent per decade in the Arctic and increased by 1.3 ± 0.2 percent per decade in the Antarctic. The observed hemispheric asymmetry in these trends is consistent with a modeled response to a carbon dioxide–induced climate warming. The interannual variations, which are 2.3 percent of the annual mean in the Arctic, with a predominant period of about 5 years, and 3.4 percent of the annual mean in the Antarctic, with a predominant period of about 3 years, are uncorrelated.

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