Research theme: Antarctic polynyas

Project “Warm oceanic Inflows for Near-real time Detection Of Weddell polynya from Space (WINDOWS)”, funded by Rymdstyrelsen grant 164/18
Ca 4.5 million SEK; I was the PI.
Started in January 2019, finished in March 2023.

The aim was to detect where the winter sea ice is going to open and why, by combining passive and active satellite remote sensing. We were using the Weddell Polynya in the Southern Ocean as test subject. In January 2023 I received new funding to continue this work, this time looking at polynyas in the Arctic Ocean. More information on this new project here.


  • Myself until February 2021;
  • Postdoc Lu Zhou, April 2021 – March 2024;
  • Master’s student Jakob Gunnarsson, April 2022 – March 2023 (thesis completed with honours);
  • Postdoc Adriano Lemos, January-August 2020;
  • PhD student Martin Mohrmann, co-supervised with S. Swart and H. Ploug from the Marine Sciences Department, Gothenburg University, January 2018 – May 2022.


  • Quantification of the effect of these polynyas, focussing on the heat and moisture fluxes and sea ice production of the recent Maud Rise polynyas: [36]
  • Jakob Gunnarsson’s Master’s thesis explored potential impacts of the presence of an open ocean polynya on coastal polynyas. And discovered that models have large internal variabilities.
  • (Dr) Martin Mohrmann’s PhD thesis “Ocean mixing and polynyas at Maud Rise, Weddell Sea”
  • Determination of local oceanographic effects that could explain why polynya formation is predominantly at one very specific location: [31]
  • Detection of upcoming sea ice opening 4 months ahead, along with determination of the dynamics and thermodynamics forcings causing the opening: [26]
  • Representation of Antarctic Polynyas in CMIP6 models: [25]
  • Detection of upcoming sea ice opening several days ahead from passive remote sensing: [23] and [13];
  • On how exceptional the Weddell Polynya re-opening of 2016-2017 has been: [14][16].

Conference, seminar, or outreach presentations related to this project:

  • 24-28 April 2023, EGU23, Vienna, (Austria)
    Jakob Gunnarsson, talk: The Atmospheric effects of Southern Ocean open-ocean polynyas onto coastal polynyas in EC-Earth3
  • 17-24 February 2023, Arctic Science Summit Week, Vienna (Austria)
    Lu Zhou, talk: Snow and Ocean roles in Arctic and Antarctic sea ice mass balances
  • 7 June 2022, SOCHIC workshop, Göteborg (Sweden)
    Céline Heuzé, talk: “Southern Ocean ventilation in CMIP6 models
    Lu Zhou, talk: Preconditioning and flux within the Weddell Sea polynya
  • 23-27 May 2022, EGU22, Vienna (Austria)
    Martin Mohrmann, talk: Observed mixing at the flanks of Maud Rise in the Weddell Sea
    Lu Zhou, talk: Sea ice thickness and production in Weddell Sea polynyas
  • 23-27 May 2022, ESA Living Planet Symposium, Bonn (Germany)
    Lu Zhou, poster: Effects of winter snow properties on L-band satellite observations in the Weddell Sea
  • 16-18 May 2022, Swedish Climate Symposium, Norrköping (Sweden)
    Lu Zhou, talk: Sea ice thickness and production in Weddell Sea polynyas
  • 10-12 May 2021, Weddell Sea Marine Protected Area Phase 2 (WSMPA Phase 2) Scientific Progress Workshop
    Céline Heuzé, attendance and active participation in discussions
  • 23 February 2021, Havs och Vattenmyndighet (online), Digitalt symposium om Antarktis ekosystem i ett förändrat klimat
    Céline Heuzé, requested talk: Antarktis klimatförändringar i ett satellitperpektiv
  • 4-8 May 2020, EGU20 (online)
    Céline Heuzé, talk: Imminent re-opening of the Weddell Polynya detectable days ahead by spaceborne infrared
    Martin Mohrmann, talk: Polynya area and frequency in the Weddell Sea in CMIP6 climate models
    Adriano Lemos, talk: Early detection of the Weddell polynya re-opening using SAR imagery
  • 17-22 March 2019, Gordon Research Conference on Polar Marine Science,  Lucca (Italy)
    Céline Heuzé, poster: Could we have predicted the return of the Weddell Polynya?
  • 18 Jan 2019, RCG seminar, Göteborg, Sweden
    Céline Heuzé, seminar: Sea ice or cloud? Automatic cloud filtering in polar regions

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