Mid May Arctic Ice Persistent

An early-spring sunset over the icy Chukchi Sea near Barrow (Utqiaġvik), Alaska, documented during the OASIS field project (Ocean_Atmosphere_Sea Ice_Snowpack) on March 22, 2009. Image credit: UCAR, photo by Carlye Calvin.

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 and April.  Now in May,  Arctic sea ice is not retreating as fast as usual.  The chart below shows by day 134 (May 14), the overall ice extent in cyan  was 353k km2 above the 16 year average in black.

Note the much higher ice extents in 2022 compared to 2021 (+543k) or 2007 (+619k).  The green lines show that the above normal ice this year is despite low extents in Bering and Okhotsk (B&O) seas.  The averages in dark green (excluding B&O) are below 2022 in light green (excluding Okhotsk) by 477k km2.  IOW everywhere in the Arctic except Okhotsk ice extents are almost 1 Wadham above average, nearly matching day 134 Arctic including Bering and Okhotsk.  Remember also that B&O are outside the Arctic circle, have no Polar bears, and are among the first to melt out every spring.

The table below shows ice extents in the seas comprising the Arctic, comparing 2022 day 134 with the same day average over the last 16 years and with 2007.

Region 2022134 Day 134 Average 2022-Ave. 2007134 2022-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 13084542 12731703 352839 12465425 619117
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1042530 1048465 -5934 1057649 -15119
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 958909 927455 31454 952925 5984
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1081479 5659 1080156 6981
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 881321 16524 850822 47022
 (5) Kara_Sea 894992 886185 8807 876053 18939
 (6) Barents_Sea 612751 417074 195677 351553 261198
 (7) Greenland_Sea 674248 623405 50843 560102 114147
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1206195 1080371 125824 1029612 176583
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 854685 840361 14324 830604 24081
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1213151 1190185 22966 1161738 51413
 (11) Central_Arctic 3248013 3224787 23226 3234305 13708
 (12) Bering_Sea 257260 319952 -62692 309846 -52586
 (13) Baltic_Sea 9044 8179 865 6368 2675
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 125465 200107 -74641 159942 -34476

The table shows that 2022 ice extent is above average by 353k km2, or 2.8%, and exceeding 2007 by 619k km2 at this date. The two deficits to average are Bering and Okhotsk, more than offset by surpluses elsewhere,  especially in Barents and Baffin Bay.

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

 

via Science Matters

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May 15, 2022 at 12:36PM

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