May 1 Arctic Ice Persists Strangely

Double-click to enlarge image.

Arctic ice extent changes for the last two weeks are shown in the MASIE animation above. Note that the Pacific basins of Bering and Okhotsk (upper left) melted dramatically.  Meanwhile on the Atlantic side ice persisted, actually growing in Barents and Greenland seas.

The strangeness concerns weirdness in Google Earth Pro treatment of kmz files from MASIE.  Previous I have used these to produce animations like the one below for the month of March.

Today when attempting to do the same for April, this is what was shown.

That is a screen capture since Google Earth could not render an image.  I hope it is just a temporary technical difficulty.  But I can’t help but imagine this depicting some kind of military map with a two-pronged attack by red forces with a single resisting force in read and blue. Is it more virtuous canceling of Russia at the expense of scientific inquiry? (The mask with colors was only imposed on the Northern Hemisphere)

The melting effect on NH total ice extents during April is presented in the graph below.


The graph above shows ice extent through April comparing 2022 MASIE reports with the 16-year average, other recent years and with SII.  On average ice extents lost 1.1M km2 during April.  2022 ice extents started slightly lower, then tracked average, ending slightly above average. Both 2021 and 2007 ended  below average, by 200k km2 and 400k km2 respectively. The two green lines at the bottom show average and 2022 extents when Bering and Okhotsk ice are excluded.  On this basis 2022 Arctic was nearly 400k km2 in surplus at end of April.

The table shows that the large deficit in Okhotsk is only partially offset by surpluses in Bering and Barents Seas.  All other regions show typical extents at end of March

Region 2022120 Day 120 Average 2022-Ave. 2007120 2022-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 13623874 13507670  116204  13108068 515806 
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070776 1067739  3036  1059189 11587 
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 963424 955654  7770  949246 14178 
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1085485  1652  1080176 6961 
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 889961  7884  875661 22184 
 (5) Kara_Sea 932842 911757  21084  864664 68178 
 (6) Barents_Sea 654813 547685  107129  396544 258270 
 (7) Greenland_Sea 777073 640123  136950  644438 132635 
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1243689 1205315  38374  1147115 96574 
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 854685 848564  6121  838032 16653 
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1240262 1238267  1995  1222074 18188 
 (11) Central_Arctic 3247307 3229654  17652  3241034 6272 
 (12) Bering_Sea 334929 482018 -147089  475489 -140560 
 (13) Baltic_Sea 22696 20622  2074  14684 8012 
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 294259 381697  -87438  295743 -1484 

The only deficits to average are in Bering and Okhotsk, more than offset by surpluses everywhere else, especially in Barents and Greenland seas. 2007 extents were lower by 516k km2 (half a Wadham)


April 1st Footnote:

It has been a long hard winter, requiring overtime efforts by Norwegian icebreakers like this one:

In addition, cold Spring temperatures led to unusual sightings of Northern creatures:

Not only Polar bears are flourishing!


via Science Matters

May 1, 2022 at 10:56AM

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