December Arctic Ice Returning to Mean

The image is an animation of MASIE ice charts over the last 16 days from Nov. 21 to yesterday, Dec. 7, 2019.   At the top is Kara Sea icing, along with Barents, both higher than the 12 year average at this time.  On the left Laptev and East Siberian have filled with ice.  Chukchi on the bottom left was mostly water, but in the last two weeks added 250k km2 up to 742k km2, now 77% of March maximum.  Bottom center shows Beaufort Sea and CAA filled with ice. On the right, Hudson Bay is making great progress freezing from its west coast inward, tripling in two weeks up to 816k km2, 65% of March max.

MASIE daily results for mid November to yesterday show 2019 ice recovering steadily, reducing the deficit to average.
Because several seas are already maxed out, Arctic ice extent recovery slows down in this period, going on average (2007 through 2018 inclusive) from 10M km2 to 12.3M km2.  2019 was as much as 600k km2 below average a week ago, but has now halved that deficit, with the accelerating freezing of shallow Hudson Bay.  Both MASIE and SII 2019 tracks are matching 2018, converging on the 12 year average, and ahead of both 2016 and 2007.

The table for day 341 shows distribution of ice across the regions making up the Arctic ocean.

Region 2019341 Day 341 Average 2019-Ave. 2007341 2019-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 11291517 11589573 -298056 10895496 396021
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070655 1069314 1341 1058293 12362
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 742243 858135 -115892 631443 110801
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1084944 1082660 2284 1042607 42337
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 897834 10 897845 0
 (5) Kara_Sea 930183 821052 109132 811361 118822
 (6) Barents_Sea 356907 294913 61995 216824 140083
 (7) Greenland_Sea 504346 560612 -56266 488047 16300
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 606755 785677 -178922 744348 -137593
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 854282 853080 1202 852556 1726
 (10) Hudson_Bay 816467 850137 -33669 894568 -78101
 (11) Central_Arctic 3211488 3197839 13649 3176298 35190
 (12) Bering_Sea 123482 190201 -66719 39832 83650
 (13) Baltic_Sea 5497 6999 -1502 2898 2599
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 84415 115149 -30734 37290 47125

Presently 2019 ice extent according to MASIE is 298k km2 (2.6%) below the 12 year average and 400k km2 more than 2007. Most of the deficit to average is in Chukchi Sea, along with Baffin and Hudson Bays a little late refreezing this year.  The Pacific Bering and Okhotsk seas have barely started with ice. Other places are close to normal, with Kara and Barents Seas showing surpluses.

For context, note that the average maximum has been 15M, so on average the extent shrinks to 30% of the March high before growing back the following winter.

One comment

  1. Hifast · December 8, 2019

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

    Like

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