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Antarctic Sea Ice Processes and Climate

Project Description
ASPeCt is a programme of multi-disciplinary Antarctic sea ice zone
research within the SCAR Global Change Programme. ASPeCt will
specifically address key identified deficiencies in our understanding
and data from the sea ice zone. The programme is designed to
complement and to contribute to the other international programmes in
this region and will build on existing and proposed research
programmes, and the shipping activities of National Antarctic
operators, and will also include a component of data-rescue of
valuable historical sea ice zone information.

The overall aim of ASPeCt is to understand and model the role of
Antarctic sea ice in the coupled atmosphere-ice-ocean system. This
requires an understanding of key processes, and the determination of
physical, chemical, and biological properties of the sea ice
zone. These are addressed by objectives which are:

I. To establish the distribution of the basic physical properties of
sea ice that are important to air-sea interaction and to biological
processes within the Antarctic sea-ice zone (ice and snow cover
thickness distributions; structural, chemical and thermal properties
of the snow and ice; upper ocean hydrography; floe size and lead
distribution). These data are required to derive forcing and
validation fields for climate models and to determine factors
controlling the biology and ecology of the sea ice-associated biota.

II. To understand the key sea-ice zone processes necessary for
improved parameterization of these processes in coupled models.

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