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Seasonal Ice Zone Reconnaissance Surveys for Aircraft-Based Eulerian and Lagrangian Sampling of a Changing Arctic
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  • Michael Steele,
  • James Morison,
  • John Guthrie,
  • Ignatius Rigor,
  • Axel Schweiger,
  • Zheng Liu
Michael Steele
Applied Physics Laboratory University of Washington

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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James Morison
Polar Science Ctr
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John Guthrie
Polar Science Center, APL-UW
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Ignatius Rigor
Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Lab, University of Washington
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Axel Schweiger
University of Washington Seattle Campus
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Zheng Liu
Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Lab, University of Washington
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Seasonal Ice Zone Reconnaissance Surveys (SIZRS) is a multi-investigator program of repeated ocean, ice, and atmospheric measurements. These measurements make use of U.S. Coast Guard flights across the Beaufort-Chukchi Sea seasonal sea ice zone (SIZ), the region between maximum winter ice extent and minimum summer ice extent. The long-term goal of SIZRS is to track and understand the interplay among the ice, atmosphere, and ocean, contributing to the rapid decline in summer ice extent. The fundamental SIZRS approach is to make monthly flights, June to October, with US Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak C-130s across the Beaufort Sea SIZ along 150°W from 72°N to 76°N or ~ 1 degree of latitude north of the ice edge, whichever is farther north. We make oceanography stations every degree of latitude by dropping Aircraft eXpendable CTDs (AXCTDs) and Aircraft eXpendable Current Profilers (AXCPs) typically while traveling northbound (PI: J. Morison). On the return leg, we drop atmospheric dropsondes from 3000 meters altitude to measure atmospheric temperature, humidity, and winds (PI: A. Schweiger). We also drop UpTempO drifting buoys that report time series of ocean temperature profiles (PI: M. Steele) and various meteorology and ice-tracking buoys of the International Arctic Buoy Program (IABP, PI: I. Rigor).