Arctic Ice Swirls End of Feb.

Click on image to enlarge.

Under the influence of a split vortex in February, Arctic ice is also a bit bi-polar.  Above image shows the Atlantic side the last two weeks.  Barents on the right has grown back to reach the 11 year average, while on the upper left Baffin Bay is above average reaching down to Newfoundland and filling in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Click on image to enlarge.

Meanwhile, the ridge of high pressure over Alaska resulted in Bering on the right losing ice while Okhotsk on the left gained up to last year’s maximum.

Ice extents for February appear in the graph below; 11 year average is 2007 to 2017 inclusive.
Note that ice growth slows down in February since the Arctic core is frozen and extent can only be added at the margins.  MASIE shows 2018 is drawing close to 2007 and 2017, while SII is running about 200k km2 less.  The 11 year average went over 15M km2 while this year is ~500k km2 lower at day 57..

Below is the analysis of regions on day 057.  Average is for 2007 to 2017 inclusive.

Region 2018057 Day 057 
Average
2018-Ave. 2017057 2018-2017
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 14471633 14982823 -511189 14624988 -153354
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070445 1070178 267 1070445 0
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 962774 965725 -2951 966006 -3232
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087120 1087134 -14 1087137 -18
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 897842 3 897845 0
 (5) Kara_Sea 928561 922491 6070 933003 -4442
 (6) Barents_Sea 599940 618000 -18061 535489 64451
 (7) Greenland_Sea 405456 639713 -234257 621708 -216252
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1823426 1492225 331201 1490888 332538
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 853109 852670 439 853214 -106
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1260838 1260663 175 1260903 -66
 (11) Central_Arctic 3076082 3222907 -146825 3217927 -141845
 (12) Bering_Sea 283579 737222 -453642 577660 -294081
 (13) Baltic_Sea 130666 116020 14646 64843 65822
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 1063381 1049659 13722 991862 71519

The 2018 deficit to average is almost entirely due to the shortfall in Bering Sea.  Barents, Chukchi and Okhotsk are all about average.  A large surplus in Baffin Bay/Gulf of St. Lawrence offsets smaller deficits in Central Arctic and Greenland Sea.

The annual maximum usually occurs mid March.  2018 is now 2% below last year’s max and needs 3.5% more extent to reach 15M km2.

Here’s your Valentine’s Day Greeting:

And here’s your PC candy for Valentine’s Day.

 

 

 

 

via Science Matters

http://ift.tt/2FExWNe

February 27, 2018 at 12:32PM

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