Inferring Changes in Arctic Sea Ice through a Spatio-Temporal Logistic Autoregression Fitted to Remote-Sensing Data

Publication Name

Remote Sensing


Arctic sea ice extent (SIE) has drawn increasing attention from scientists in recent years because of its fast decline in the Boreal summer and early fall. The measurement of SIE is derived from remote sensing data and is both a lagged and leading indicator of climate change. To characterize at a local level the decline in SIE, we use remote-sensing data at 25 km resolution to fit a spatio-temporal logistic autoregressive model of the sea-ice evolution in the Arctic region. The model incorporates last year’s ice/water binary observations at nearby grid cells in an autoregressive manner with autoregressive coefficients that vary both in space and time. Using the model-based estimates of ice/water probabilities in the Arctic region, we propose several graphical summaries to visualize the spatio-temporal changes in Arctic sea ice beyond what can be visualized with the single time series of SIE. In ever-higher latitude bands, we observe a consistently declining temporal trend of sea ice in the early fall. We also observe a clear decline in and contraction of the sea ice’s distribution between (Formula presented.) – (Formula presented.), and of most concern is that this may reflect the future behavior of sea ice at ever-higher latitudes under climate change.

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Funding Sponsor

National Science Foundation



Link to publisher version (DOI)