Auspicious Day for Arctic Ice

Meltponds and leads in the Arctic ice cap show evidence of refreezing

Day 282, October 9, 2015 was a day with several significant events regarding Arctic ice recovery. For the first time since day 229, August 26, ice extent is again over 6M km2. Also, the BCE region (Beaufort, Chukchi, East Siberian) is now the same as 2014 at this date. Another happening is NOAA and MASIE showing exactly the same number for NH ice extent.

The rate of ice recovery this year since minimum day 260 is 72k km2 per day, 12k greater than 2014, and the highest in the last decade, except for 2013.

Hudson and Baffin Bays combined are the same both years; Kara and Laptev combined are the same both years; Greenland Sea is the same. The remaining difference is mainly Barents, which melted early and has not recovered, and CAA, slowly recovering after the August 2015 storm. From MASIE:

Ice Extents 2014282 2015282 Ice Extent
Region km2 Diff.
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 6433593 6101239 -332354
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 760258 768857 8598
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 342532 420027 77495
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 524382 444172 -80210
 (4) Laptev_Sea 161386 302302 140916
 (5) Kara_Sea 160370 52762 -107608
 (6) Barents_Sea 170701 1589 -169112
 (7) Greenland_Sea 346102 346143 41
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 65565 98692 33128
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 687420 497592 -189828
 (10) Hudson_Bay 35404 3423 -31981
 (11) Central_Arctic 3178330 3164538 -13792


The comparison with 2014 informs us whether this year will “bend the trend” of recovering ice extent since 2007, and by how much.  The pace of refreezing this year is impressive and the end result remains to be seen.  My guess: 2015 Average Annual extent will finish in 3rd place, ahead of every year before 2013 in the last decade.


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