NSIDC Special Report 4

Atmospheric and Sea Ice Characteristics of the Arctic Ocean and the SHEBA Field Region of the Beaufort Sea

M. C. Serreze, J. A. Maslanik, and J. Key
March 1997

National Snow and Ice Data Center
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences
University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Abstract: SHEBA Region Atlas

The Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) program is designed to improve our understanding of the thermodynamic coupling between the Arctic atmosphere, the sea ice and ocean. SHEBA Phase I includes the analysis of existing data sets, modeling, satellite studies and experiment planning for the follow-on phase. Phase II, a field experiment in the Beaufort Sea, is designed to collect a suite of data sets leading to better understanding of the Arctic surface heat budget, in particular, the sea ice albedo feedback mechanism.

As a contribution to SHEBA Phase I, we have assembled existing data sets, data sets generated in-house and previously published results to provide an atlas of the mean state and variability of Arctic atmospheric and sea ice conditions. Monthly maps are provided of atmospheric circulation, water vapor characteristics, cloud cover and cloud properties, precipitation and precipitation characteristics, surface temperatures, surface winds, surface radiation fluxes and albedo, as well as, sea ice extent, concentration, motion and the timing of ice melt onset. Comparative analyses, summarized primarily as monthly histograms, are also conducted for the vicinity of the SHEBA manned camp. Each section of the atlas contains an overview of the data sets used, data analysis and brief interpretation of results. More detailed discussions are provided for new data sets or for those not widely examined previously.

This volume, Atmospheric and Sea Ice Characteristics of the Arctic Ocean and the SHEBA Field Region of the Beaufort Sea, is available as a PDF from the NSIDC Special Reports Web page.

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