Bering Ice Lost and Found

2019/03/06 GCOM-W/AMSR2 [Okhotsk] Sea Ice Concentration Source: JAXA. Note Hokkaido, Island, Japan, under the white triangle tip.

The Pacific basins of Bering and Okhotsk display opposing ice patterns this year.

The last two weeks saw open water growing on the right in Bering Sea, now down to 140k km2, one-fourth of its maximum extent.  Meanwhile, Okhotsk on the left grew steadily, now pressing down on Hokkaido Island, producing the southernmost Arctic Ice to be found. The graph below shows how 2019 compares to the 12 year average, after taking the Bering anomaly out of the picture.

The chart runs from mid-February to mid-March, showing how 2019 NH ice extent peaked above average on day 54, declined for a week, then rose again recently.  The effect of Bering ice loss appears in the gaps between NH extents with and without Bering ice.  Note that the black and green lines show Bering has contributed about 700k km2 to the overall total, and that will increase to 800k km2 by day 76.

2019 NH included about 500k km2 from Bering on day 32, but the Bering extent has steadily decreased now only 140k km2.  Thus 2019 w/o Bering is 400k km2 greater than NH average w/o Bering.at this time, with another 10 days or so for additional ice to form.

The table below shows ice extents in the various basins on day 64.

Region 2019064 Day 064 
Average
2019-Ave. 2018064 2019-2018
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 14706623 15022070 -315447 14461393 245231
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070498 1070200 297 1070445 53
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 943452 965931 -22479 965161 -21709
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1087133 4 1087120 18
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 897842 3 897845 0
 (5) Kara_Sea 934558 927864 6694 934055 503
 (6) Barents_Sea 781551 642119 139431 598121 183430
 (7) Greenland_Sea 553335 639443 -86108 548263 5072
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1575867 1538064 37803 1610374 -34507
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 853337 853037 300 853109 229
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1260903 1259978 925 1260838 66
 (11) Central_Arctic 3246782 3218361 28421 3150790 95993
 (12) Bering_Sea 140439 716013 -575574 286010 -145571
 (13) Baltic_Sea 64749 106825 -42077 166155 -101407
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 1285797 1063174 222622 1008051 277746

The Bering deficit is 575k km2 or just 20% of the 12 year average.  Surpluses in Okhotsk, Baffin, Central Arctic and Barents do not completely offset, so the NH total is 315k km2 or 2% below average.

Taking a boat trip from Hokkaido Island to see Okhotsk drift ice is a big tourist attraction, as show in the short video below.  Al Gore had them worried back then, but not now.

Drift ice in Okhotsk Sea at sunrise.

via Science Matters

https://ift.tt/2SIK3hb

March 6, 2019 at 12:47PM

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