Persisting March Arctic Ice

Previous posts showed 2020 Arctic Ice breaking the 15M km2 ceiling, while wondering whether the ice will have staying power.  “Yes” is the answer, at least through the first two-thirds of March. The animation above shows ice extents over the first 20 days of March 2020 in the Pacific basins.  Bering Sea on the right grew ice until peaking at 819k km2 on day 71, 44% higher than 2019 Bering maximum.  It then declined losing 274k km2 by day 80.  Meanwhile Okhotsk Sea on the left lost 100k km2 by day 72 before gaining back 65k km2.

The animation above shows ice extents on the Atlantic side fluctuating and helping offset Pacific ice losses. On the left Baffin Bay and Gulf of St. Lawrence fluctuate but end the period with nearly the same ice as at the beginning.In the center Greenland Sea ice was steady the first week and then added 116k km2 up to day 80.  On the right Barents Sea lost 130k km2 up to day 73, then gained 140k km2 back by day 80.

 

By end of February, ice extent this year was well above the 13- year average, then dipped lower before growing again to atch the average and surplus to other years including 2007.  This is important since March monthly average is considered the ice extent maximum for the year. Note also the SII is matching and at times exceeds the MASIE estimates.

The chart below shows the distribution of ice across the various regions comprising the Arctic zone.

Region 2020080 Day 080 Average 2020-Ave. 2007080 2020-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 14901276 14873303 27972 14547397 353879
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070655 1070207 448 1069711 944
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 966006 965780 226 966006 0
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1087135 3 1087137 0
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 897799 46 897845 0
 (5) Kara_Sea 934902 917684 17218 912117 22785
 (6) Barents_Sea 749134 620285 128849 583698 165436
 (7) Greenland_Sea 688025 628250 59776 606689 81336
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1494573 1537332 -42760 1392468 102105
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 854282 852953 1330 852767 1516
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1260903 1260407 497 1259717 1186
 (11) Central_Arctic 3248013 3223120 24893 3239953 8060
 (12) Bering_Sea 543951 757159 -213208 836184 -292233
 (13) Baltic_Sea 13401 80508 -67107 83894 -70492
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 1083325 958236 125089 739985 343340

As of yesterday, Day 2020071 matches the NH 13-year average and also most regions.  Bering Sea is the main deficit to average along with Baffin Bay and Baltic Sea. Offsetting surpluses appear in Barents and Okhotsk Seas, as well as Greenland Sea and Central Arctic and Barents Sea. Note Okhotsk sea ice is almost 50% more than the extent in 2007.

 

via Science Matters

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March 21, 2020 at 01:27PM

One thought on “Persisting March Arctic Ice”

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