Mid April Arctic Ice Above Average

Drift ice in Okhotsk Sea at sunrise.

Previous posts showed 2022 Arctic Ice broke the 15M km2 ceiling in February, staying above that level the first week of March, then followed by typical melting in March. As the chart below shows, mid March the overall ice extent was ~400k km2 below the 16 year average, before returning to the mean day 89 and tracking the average since then.

Note the much higher ice extents in 2022 compared to the two previous years.  The green lines show that the above normal ice this year is despite low extents in Sea of Okhotsk.  The averages in dark green (excluding Okhotsk) are below 2022 in light green (excluding Okhotsk) by nearly 200k km2.  IOW everywhere in the Arctic except Okhotsk ice extents are well above average.  Remember also that Okhotsk basin is outside the Arctic circle, has no Polar bears, and is among the first to melt out every spring.

The table below shows ice extents in the seas comprising the Arctic, comparing 2022 day 102 with the same day average over the last 16 years and with 2021.

Region 2022102 Day 102 Average 2022-Ave. 2021102 2022-2021
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 14276734 14220846 55888 13625046 651688
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070776 1069263 1513 1070689 87
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 966006 963080 2926 966006 0
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1085847 1290 1087137 0
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 895064 2781 897827 18
 (5) Kara_Sea 935023 922556 12467 900979 34045
 (6) Barents_Sea 708728 615602 93126 349338 359390
 (7) Greenland_Sea 646204 655532 -9329 671290 -25086
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1281551 1286670 -5119 1132374 149177
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 854685 852712 1973 854597 88
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1260903 1246035 14868 1249891 11012
 (11) Central_Arctic 3238576 3230459 8117 3167541 71035
 (12) Bering_Sea 765331 658850 106481 545689 219642
 (13) Baltic_Sea 51751 47121 4630 21897 29854
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 506073 685897 -179824 704441 -198368

The table shows that 2022 ice extent slightly above average and exceeding 2021 by 652k km2 at this date. Surpluses are sizeable in Bering and Barents, more than offsetting the major Okhotsk deficit. All other regions are showing as typically frozen basins.

Polar Bear on Ice in Baffin Bay Between Baffin Island and Greenland

 

via Science Matters

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April 13, 2022 at 10:02AM

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