Arctic Ice Moment of Truth

For ice extent in the Arctic, the bar is set at 15M km2. The average in the last 13 years occurs on day 62 at 15.04M before descending. Six of the last 13 years were able to clear 15M, but recently only 2014 and 2016 ice extents cleared the bar at 15M km2; the others came up short.

During February MASIE and SII both show ice extent hovering around the 13 year average, matching it exactly on day 52 at 14.85M km2. Other recent years were lower until 2019 caught up before, dropping off in the final week of the month.  We shall see what this year does with only 10 to 14 days left before the March maximum is recorded.

Region 2020052 Day 052 Average 2020-Ave. 2018052 2020-2018
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 14875470 14857903 17567 14312247 563223
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070655 1070222 433 1070445 210
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 965972 964814 1158 955104 10868
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1087039 98 1087120 18
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 897824 21 897845 0
 (5) Kara_Sea 906378 917433 -11055 917969 -11591
 (6) Barents_Sea 648148 613817 34332 552077 96071
 (7) Greenland_Sea 538698 613963 -75264 428606 110092
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1502218 1495888 6330 1757430 -255211
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 854282 853074 1209 853109 1174
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1259931 1260881 -950 1260838 -907
 (11) Central_Arctic 3246709 3213870 32839 3150241 96468
 (12) Bering_Sea 731776 685013 46763 194708 537067
 (13) Baltic_Sea 25524 104858 -79334 94201 -68677
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 1117881 1022253 95628 1060733 57148

 

As reported previously, Pacific sea ice is a big part of the story this year.  Out of the last 13 years, on day 52 only two years had Okhotsk ice extent higher than 2020, and only four years had higher Bering ice. Those surpluses offset a small deficit in Greenland Sea ice.

Typically, Arctic ice extent loses 67 to 70% of the March maximum by mid September, before recovering the ice in building toward the next March.

What will the ice do this year?  Where will 2020 rank in the annual Arctic Ice High Jump competition?

Drift ice in Okhotsk Sea at sunrise.

 

 

 

via Science Matters

https://ift.tt/39TYLeb

February 23, 2020 at 04:21AM

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