June Arctic Ice Report

The extent of Arctic ice fell to a new wintertime low in March 2017. But springtime ice persisted and in June is hanging around the decadal average.

The first half of June this year’s extent was above the decadal average despite early melting in Bering and Okhotsk Seas,  Those two Pacific basins are now ice-free, typical for end of June.  Presently 2017 is tied with 2016 and 2007 about 200k km2 below average.  The recent drop was largely due to Hudson Bay going to open water in just ten days (images at Ten Days in Hudson Bay).

For the month, average extent in 2017 was 11M km2 compared to the the decadal average of 10.9M km2, ranking this year fifth since 2006.  SII 2017 average for June was 10.7M km2 and is presently showing 200k km2 less ice than MASIE does with its higher resolution.  During June more than 2M km2 ice extent was lost and presently stands at 65% of the March maximum.

The Table compares 2017 day 181 ice extents with the decadal average and 2007.

Region 2017181 Day 181
2017-Ave. 2007181 2017-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 9620537 9846173 -225636 9672969 -52433
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 855383 920779 -65397 939209 -83826
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 614011 743161 -129151 670088 -56077
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 926510 1029639 -103129 901963 24547
 (4) Laptev_Sea 788796 734392 54403 658742 130053
 (5) Kara_Sea 585573 563477 22096 657478 -71904
 (6) Barents_Sea 177110 112663 64447 130101 47010
 (7) Greenland_Sea 575056 518393 56663 548399 26657
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 489797 497536 -7739 450461 39336
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 775934 777916 -1982 773611 2323
 (10) Hudson_Bay 585228 705394 -120166 718441 -133212
 (11) Central_Arctic 3245272 3210630 34642 3218999 26273
 (12) Bering_Sea 0 11808 -11808 981 -981
 (13) Baltic_Sea 0 6 -6 0 0
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 695 18917 -18222 2983 -2288

The pattern continues with seas on the Pacific side showing deficits to average, while Atlantic Arctic seas show surpluses.  Bering and Okhotsk averages are still 30k km2 higher but will soon disappear.  The noticeable deficits are in BCE (Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian) and in Hudson Bay.

Barents Sea demonstrates the surplus of 2017 sea ice extents inside the Arctic Circle.  The graph below shows Barents this year continues to be above average matching the record year of 2014.

The black line is average for the last 11 years.  2007 in purple appears close to an average year.  2014 had the highest annual extent in Barents Sea, due to higher and later maximums, holding onto ice during the summer, and recovering quickly.  In contrast, 2016 was the lowest annual extent, melting out early and recovering later.  2017 in blue started out way behind, but grew rapidly to reach average, and then persisted longer to exceed even 2014.  It may yet beat out 2014 as the highest in the last 11 years.

For more on why Barents Sea matters see Barents Icicles



  1. Hifast · July 3, 2017

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.


  2. angech · July 6, 2017

    Not happy. Is there a site which gives the daily Arctic sea ice extent gain or loss in easily readable figures?
    Are there other signs of slowing melt?


    • Ron Clutz · July 6, 2017

      Sorry to hear of your unhappiness. Is the graph above not easily readable? The melt, or more precisely the compacting and melting to reduce ice extents is proceeding as usual in summertime. At the moment 2017 is running about 2 days ahead of average. It remains to be seen how starting with a lower maximum will play out in September.


  3. angech · July 10, 2017

    Graph fine, just wanting some more obvious slowing in extent loss and piomas reversal. Ah well, all things come to those who wait.


    • Ron Clutz · July 10, 2017

      Thanks for clarifying. I put up another update for July 10 arctic ice. It may be obvious that for me it is all about where we end up relative to 2007. Multiyear ice flushed out through the Fram strait around 1998 causing a decade of sharp decline, (the “death spiral”) stabilizing in 2007. Now we have a plateau (2012 was an anomaly due to the Great Arctic Cyclone). Will it continue, recover or decline? That is why I watch.


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