University of Tasmania
143822 - Effects of wave-induced sea ice break-up.pdf (8.23 MB)

Effects of wave-induced sea ice break-up and mixing in a high-resolution coupled ice-ocean model

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 22:35 authored by Li, J, Babanin, AV, Liu, Q, Voermans, JJ, Petra HeilPetra Heil, Tang, Y
Arctic sea ice plays a vital role in modulating the global climate. In the most recent decades, the rapid decline of the Arctic summer sea ice cover has exposed increasing areas of ice-free ocean, with sufficient fetch for waves to develop. This has highlighted the complex and not well-understood nature of wave-ice interactions, requiring modeling effort. Here, we introduce two independent parameterizations in a high-resolution coupled ice-ocean model to investigate the effects of wave-induced sea ice break-up (through albedo change) and mixing on the Arctic sea ice simulation. Our results show that wave-induced sea ice break-up leads to increases in sea ice concentration and thickness in the Bering Sea, the Baffin Sea and the Barents Sea during the ice growth season, but accelerates the sea ice melt in the Chukchi Sea and the East Siberian Sea in summer. Further, wave-induced mixing can decelerate the sea ice formation in winter and the sea ice melt in summer by exchanging the heat fluxes between the surface and subsurface layer. As our baseline model underestimates sea ice cover in winter and produces more sea ice in summer, wave-induced sea ice break-up plays a positive role in improving the sea ice simulation. This study provides two independent parameterizations to directly include the wave effects into the sea ice models, with important implications for the future sea ice model development.


Publication title

Journal of Marine Science and Engineering





Article number









Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies



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Copyright 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Climate change models; Climate variability (excl. social impacts)