Arctic ice is growing extents slowly to approach 14M km2 with about six weeks left to reach annual maximum. The meandering polar vortex brings warmer air north to replace the cold air sent into Canada and USA.
The image above shows Barents on the right is finally adding extent, growing 200k km2 in two weeks to reach 76% of last year’s maximum. The image below shows the ice see-saw in the Pacific. First Okhotsk grows 100k km2 to reach average (63% of maximum) while Bering dithers. Then Bering adds 100k km2 to reach 53% of maximum (still below average), while Okhotsk retreats, giving back its 100k.
Ice extents for January appear in the graph below; 11 year average is 2007 to 2017 inclusive.
Note that 2007 caught and exceeded the 11 year average ending the month tied. 2018 is now ~300k km2 below 2017 and both lag behind average having started the year in deficit. SII 2018 is running about 200k km2 less than MASIE for the month.
Below is the analysis of regions on day 031. Average is for 2007 to 2017 inclusive.
The core of the Arctic is frozen solid and for the date 2018 is ~5% below average. The difference is mainly due to Bering Sea 44% below average, Greenland 20% down, Barents 17% less, and Okhotsk 16% lower.
Check out the action in Kara Sea near the mouth of the Yenisei River, as a nuclear ice breaker comes within meters of a car expedition on the ice, temperatures at -50C. January 26, 2018