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The dynamics of sea ice variability – role of the oceans


Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 792639

The project is now closed, but further publications will come.

Project duration: 

May 1, 2018 – March 31, 2021

Arctic sea-ice extent and volume are declining rapidly, and according to model simulations, the Arctic Ocean may become seasonally ice-free as early as around 2040. As sea ice is a critical component of the Earth system, for the prediction of future climatic processes and related environmental changes, it is crucial to forecast its evolution.

However, despite the extreme societal and environmental relevance, our understanding of natural sea-ice variability and its response to external natural and human-induced forcing is associated with significant uncertainties. Consequently, state-of-the-art climate models still show a very large spread in the prediction of climate responses for the next century, especially at high latitudes. The insufficient knowledge about natural sea-ice states makes it essential to develop high-resolution sea-ice reconstructions extending back in time beyond the instrumental and satellite era.

The overall purpose of the project is therefore to establish longer time-series of sea-ice variability off NE Greenland and its linkages with ocean circulation, Greenland ice-sheet dynamics, external forcing and global climate.


  • Developing multidecadal to millennial-scale time series of sea ice and the general oceanic and atmospheric conditions through the Holocene, with primary focus on the last few millennia
  • Defining the baseline of Greenland sea-ice cover under pre-industrial climatic conditions through comparison of  the results with instrumental/satellite data that will provide the link to modern ocean and sea-ice conditions
  • Comparing the results to external forcing factors (solar irradiation, explosive volcanism, atmospheric greenhouse gas levels) and test the link between sea ice and natural/human-induced climate forcings
  • Evaluating the short- and long-term response of sea-ice cover and ocean circulation to Greenland ice-sheet melt

The outcome of the study will significantly improve our basic understanding of processes determining sea-ice cover, which is needed for a better prediction of the future changes of Arctic sea ice.

EU H2020 Project Webpage




Research fellow:

Teodora  Pados-Dibattista, Ph.D.

Department of Geoscience

Aarhus University

Hoegh-Guldbergs Gade 2, Room 1672-217

DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

E-Mail: teodora.pados@geo.au.dk

Phone: +4520978976