Arctic Ocean and Ice Race March 10


The finals of the CMQ Canoe Race were held on Feb. 7, 2016 Over 50 teams from Quebec, Canada, France and the United States navigated the frozen waters of the Saint-Lawrence River between Quebec City and Lévis.

The annual contest between the ocean and the ice is about to heat up.
March is the peak month for Arctic ice extent, and the daily max may already be in the books. MASIE shows these maximum extents:

2016 day 61 15.08 M km2
2015 day 62 14.91 M km2
Ave.  day 62 15.10 M km2


As the graph shows, 2016 is trending below the 10 yr. Average and higher than last year. Comparing the estimates with SII (Sea Ice Index from NOAA) shows how much lower are extents from that source. SII max was 14.56 on day 60. So far, SII March average is about 500k km2 behind MASIE. Since March on average is quite flat over the month, SII has time to catch up, provided it starts showing some increases or a slower decline.

For more on discrepancies between MASIE and SII see here.

This table looks in detail at day 69 km2 extent this year and last:

Region 2015069 2016069 km2 Diff.
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 14542121 14816687 274566
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070445 1070445 0
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 966006 965989 -17
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1087120 -17
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 897809 -36
 (5) Kara_Sea 916436 904761 -11675
 (6) Barents_Sea 449499 479659 30160
 (7) Greenland_Sea 591426 589934 -1492
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1915854 1644582 -271272
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 853214 853178 -36
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1260903 1260854 -49
 (11) Central_Arctic 3228809 3184280 -44529
 (12) Bering_Sea 561278 641530 80252
 (13) Baltic_Sea 15672 64882 49210
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 721406 1168782 447376

Overall, 2016 is 275k km2 higher. The main difference is in Baffin Bay, which is more than offset by Sea of Okhotsk and Bering Sea. Barents is slightly higher than last year, which is still much lower than average. Comparing the two years, last March had a double dip from Okhotsk and Barents low extents, along with early melting from Bering. Only one of them is low this year, though we must watch out for Baffin Bay.  Baltic Sea has a lot of ice, though a smaller basin.

Reminder: All of the marginal seas will typically melt out by September.


MASIE: “high-resolution, accurate charts of ice conditions”
Walt Meier, NSIDC, October 2015 article in Annals of Glaciology.





One comment

  1. joekano76 · March 10, 2016

    Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth.


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