Previous posts have noted that in March, all the Arctic seas are locked in ice, the exceptions being Bering and Okhotsk in the Pacific, and Barents and Baffin Bay in the Atlantic. And the seesaw continues, shown in the images below. Firstly on the Atlantic side, featuring Baffin Bay and Kara, Barents, Greenland Seas.
And on the Pacific side, the only action is in Bering and Okhotsk Seas.
The overall NH extents are down from the 11-year average, and it is mostly due to deficits in the usual places: Barents, Bering and Okhotsk, somewhat offset by a surplus in Baffin. All of them melt out in September, and Bering and Okhotsk basins are effectively outside of the Arctic ocean per se.
As reported previously, 2017 peaked early, rising close to the average on day 53 in February, then losing extent and never achieving the 15M km2 threshold. 14.8 M km2 proved to be the 2017 peak daily ice extent. 2016 also lost extent throughout March, though higher than the current year, and will likely end with a higher monthly average. 2006 and 2017 are virtually tied at this point, though 2017 will likely end up higher on the month. SII shows about 300km2 less extent for the month, but drawing closer lately.
The Table below presents the ice extents reported by MASIE for day 80 in the years 2017, 2006 and the 11-year average (2006 through 2016).
The 2017 deficit to average is largely due to Okhotsk and Bering declining early, along with Barents and Kara. A surplus in Baffin somewhat offsets these, especially in comparison with 2006.
To summarize, central Arctic seas are locked in ice, while extents have started to decline in the peripheral basins. As of day 80, extents in 2017 are 4% below average and tied with 2006.