For ice extent in the Arctic, the bar is set at 15M km2. The average in the last 13 years occurs on day 62 at 15.04M before descending. Six of the last 13 years were able to clear 15M, but recently only 2014 and 2016 ice extents cleared the bar at 15M km2; the others came up short.
During February MASIE and SII both show ice extent hovering around the 13 year average, matching it exactly on day 52 at 14.85M km2. Other recent years were lower until 2019 caught up, before dropping off in the final week of the month. We shall see what this year does with only 10 to 14 days left before the March maximum is recorded.
|Region||2020052||Day 052 Average||2020-Ave.||2018052||2020-2018|
As reported previously, Pacific sea ice is a big part of the story this year. Out of the last 13 years, on day 52 only two years had Okhotsk ice extent higher than 2020, and only four years had higher Bering ice. Those surpluses offset a small deficit in Greenland Sea ice.
Typically, Arctic ice extent loses 67 to 70% of the March maximum by mid September, before recovering the ice in building toward the next March.
What will the ice do this year? Where will 2020 rank in the annual Arctic Ice High Jump competition?