Arctic Ice Watch January 31

Click on image to enlarge.

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.

Click on image to enlarge.

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.

Region 2018031 Day 031 
Average
2018-Ave. 2017031 2018-2017
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 13792271 14504082 -711811 14086396 -294125
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070445 1070210 235 1070445 0
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 965971 965960 11 966006 -35
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087120 1087023 97 1087137 -18
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 897820 24 897845 0
 (5) Kara_Sea 895363 915975 -20612 862890 32473
 (6) Barents_Sea 481947 578898 -96950 421776 60171
 (7) Greenland_Sea 501411 622550 -121139 549359 -47948
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1406903 1362611 44292 1299268 107634
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 853109 853066 43 853214 -106
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1260838 1260818 19 1260903 -66
 (11) Central_Arctic 3184817 3219924 -35107 3232583 -47766
 (12) Bering_Sea 382207 685972 -303766 509369 -127162
 (13) Baltic_Sea 41714 76231 -34517 31706 10008
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 704398 836881 -132483 1006706 -302308

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. 

Postscript:

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

 

 

 

 

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