Singh Chauhan, P.P., 2012. On the role of geomorphic forcing in tipping the sea-ice system.
The variability in polar sea-ice extents is generally viewed through oceanographic and atmospheric perspectives and despite an obvious contribution of coastline intricacies in the form of land–water configuration and shallow submarine topography a geomorphic standpoint is lacking. This article explores the signs of criticality in the sea-ice variability of Arctic and Antarctic regions and investigates it in terms of the morphology of these two areas. The realization that the sea-ice system tends to attain a self-organized critical state in the two distinct regimes corresponding to ice retainment and replenishment further allows conceptualization of a framework for a “tipping” point. The intrinsic role of coastline configuration as the basis of geomorphic forcing in the threshold dynamics of sea-ice variability is hence advocated to indicate relevance in long-term climate change scenarios, whereas recognition of nonequilibrium criticality in the sea-ice system allows the temporal disparity in its fluctuations to be perceived as natural features.