Arctic Seas Filling with Ice

click on image to enlarge.

Extents expanded rapidly during the last 12 days of October through yesterday, especially on the Eurasian side.   At the top center Laptev Sea fills in completely, and to the left East Siberian Sea is also growing solid ice toward East Asia. Kara sea on the right is growing fast ice from the shore outward, while Barents Sea fills in from the central Arctic.

The graph compares extents over the 28 days of October.
2017 has surpassed 8.1M km2, close to the 10 year average, and 700k km2 more than 2012.  2007 lags 925k km2 lower than 2017, while 2016 is 1M km2 behind.  At this point MASIE and SII are showing similar ice gains in October, tracking the 10-year average.

The Table below shows where ice is located on day 301 in regions of the Arctic ocean. 10 year average comes from 2007 through 2016 inclusive.

Region 2017301 Day 301
2017-Ave. 2007301 2017-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 8144166 8170174 -26008 7217625 926541
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 866727 897500 -30773 933022 -66295
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 374051 451466 -77415 202567 171484
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 915679 872509 43170 327344 588336
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897755 876350 21406 885761 11995
 (5) Kara_Sea 444927 384807 60120 243253 201674
 (6) Barents_Sea 99229 59612 39617 27244 71985
 (7) Greenland_Sea 280222 416824 -136602 433620 -153398
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 284534 221179 63355 179395 105139
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 763764 754817 8947 739551 24213
 (10) Hudson_Bay 36124 66028 -29904 54271 -18147
 (11) Central_Arctic 3169661 3160785 8876 3190324 -20663

The deficits to average are mainly in Chukchi and Greenland Seas, while surpluses are large on Eurasian side from East Siberian, through Laptev, Kara and Barents.  Baffin Bay is also ahead of average.

Halloween is Coming!


Some people unhappy with the higher amounts of ice extent shown by MASIE continue to claim that Sea Ice Index is the only dataset that can be used. This is false in fact and in logic. Why should anyone accept that the highest quality picture of ice day to day has no shelf life, that one year’s charts can not be compared with another year? Researchers do this analysis, including Walt Meier in charge of Sea Ice Index. That said, I understand his interest in directing people to use his product rather than one he does not control. As I have said before:

MASIE is rigorous, reliable, serves as calibration for satellite products, and uses modern technologies to continue the long and honorable tradition of naval ice charting.  More on this at my post Support MASIE Arctic Ice Dataset

Note:  Sea Ice Index (SII) is reporting extents according to version 3.0 as of October 20, 2017. Details at:
Sea Ice Index Updates to v.3.0

Footnote on MASIE Data Sources: 

National Ice Center (NIC) produces ice charts using the Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS). From the documentation, the multiple sources feeding IMS are:



Historical Summary: IMS Daily Northern Hemisphere Snow and Ice Analysis

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NOAA/NESDIS) has an extensive history of monitoring snow and ice coverage.Accurate monitoring of global snow/ice cover is a key component in the study of climate and global change as well as daily weather forecasting.

The Polar and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite programs (POES/GOES) operated by NESDIS provide invaluable visible and infrared spectral data in support of these efforts. Clear-sky imagery from both the POES and the GOES sensors show snow/ice boundaries very well; however, the visible and infrared techniques may suffer from persistent cloud cover near the snowline, making observations difficult (Ramsay, 1995). The microwave products (DMSP and AMSR-E) are unobstructed by clouds and thus can be used as another observational platform in most regions. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery also provides all-weather, near daily capacities to discriminate sea and lake ice. With several other derived snow/ice products of varying accuracy, such as those from NCEP and the NWS NOHRSC, it is highly desirable for analysts to be able to interactively compare and contrast the products so that a more accurate composite map can be produced.

The Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB) of NESDIS first began generating Northern Hemisphere Weekly Snow and Ice Cover analysis charts derived from the visible satellite imagery in November, 1966. The spatial and temporal resolutions of the analysis (190 km and 7 days, respectively) remained unchanged for the product’s 33-year lifespan.

As a result of increasing customer needs and expectations, it was decided that an efficient, interactive workstation application should be constructed which would enable SAB to produce snow/ice analyses at a higher resolution and on a daily basis (~25 km / 1024 x 1024 grid and once per day) using a consolidated array of new as well as existing satellite and surface imagery products. The Daily Northern Hemisphere Snow and Ice Cover chart has been produced since February, 1997 by SAB meteorologists on the IMS.

Another large resolution improvement began in early 2004, when improved technology allowed the SAB to begin creation of a daily ~4 km (6144×6144) grid. At this time, both the ~4 km and ~24 km products are available from NSIDC with a slight delay. Near real-time gridded data is available in ASCII format by request.

In March 2008, the product was migrated from SAB to the National Ice Center (NIC) of NESDIS. The production system and methodology was preserved during the migration. Improved access to DMSP, SAR, and modeled data sources is expected as a short-term from the migration, with longer term plans of twice daily production, GRIB2 output format, a Southern Hemisphere analysis, and an expanded suite of integrated snow and ice variable on horizon.



One comment

  1. Hifast · October 29, 2017

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.


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