The Polar Regions raise considerable scientific interest due to recent rapid changes and multi-decadal scale variability. The Arctic Sea ice summer is reducing in extent and thickness. We see an increasingly warm inflow of Atlantic Water into the Arctic. Trends in the Antarctic are less clear, but we also see a dynamic range of changes, such as disintegration of icebergs, warming in certain peripheral areas and cooling in the pole region.
Possible reasons for current changes are seen in large scale circulation changes with partly unclear connection to the ongoing global warming.
An integrated understanding of the ongoing and possible future changes in high latitudes requires field observations as well as further advanced modelling capabilities. Model development greatly benefits from observations, and models can help optimizing observational campaigns. The IPY has lead to a focussed research effort in the Polar oceans with large programmes such as DAMOCLES, SEARCH and others, including integrated observation-modelling efforts. Modelling as well as empirical approaches are used for analysing of the 2007 summer sea ice record minimum event and for providing outlook of the summer 2008.
For this session we encourage presentations on processes in ocean, atmosphere and ice, affecting Arctic or Antarctic oceans with their varying sea ice cover and interaction with the global oceans. We are interested in studies concerning decadal scale as well as in short time scale papers with respect to recent extremes and studies attributing polar changes to the large scale. Observational studies are as welcome as and results from reanalysis and modelling of recent and possible future climates in the Polar Regions.