Arctic Ice Breaks 15M km2 Ceiling at Feb. End

Drift ice in Okhotsk Sea at sunrise.

As reported previously, Arctic ice extents are solid in most seas, but continue to fluctuate at the margins.  Notably in 2022, ice extents broke the 15M km2 threshold on Feb. 28, whereas the 16-year average falls short of that even in March. It also exceeds the 2021 annual March maximum by 175k km2.

Note the much higher extent this year:  160k km2 greater than the average, and 342k km2 more than 2021.  Somehow SII (Sea Ice Index) lost 200k km2 in the last 3 days.

The table below shows ice extents in the seas comprising the Arctic, comparing 2022 day 059 with the same day average over the last 16 years and with 2021.

Region 2022059 Day 59 Average 2022-Ave. 2021059 2022-2021
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 15048826 14889681 159145 14706367 342459
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070776 1070283 493 1070689 87
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 966006 965332 674 966006 0
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1087104 34 1087120 17
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897827 897836 -10 897827 0
 (5) Kara_Sea 927636 926141 1495 935006 -7370
 (6) Barents_Sea 742200 624652 117548 743724 -1524
 (7) Greenland_Sea 623943 610430 13513 607006 16937
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1807904 1499912 307991 1286025 521879
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 854685 853241 1444 854597 88
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1260903 1260384 519 1260471 432
 (11) Central_Arctic 3247959 3211583 36376 3191259 56699
 (12) Bering_Sea 649668 664978 -15310 605478 44189
 (13) Baltic_Sea 62334 100387 -38053 100347 -38013
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 824154 1074030 -249876 1080692 -256538

The table shows that 2022 ice extent exceeds 2021 by 342k km2 at this date. Surpluses are sizeable in Baffin and Barents, more than offsetting an Okhotsk deficit.

Polar Bear on Ice in Baffin Bay Between Baffin Island and Greenland

The next two weeks will be interesting. The average year in the last sixteen gained about 100k km2 from now to mid March. But the variability ranged from 2015 losing 300K while some other years gained 400k km2. And since 2016, only 2020 broke the 15M km2 ceiling.  What will the ice do this year?

5 comments

  1. Pingback: Arctic Ice Breaks 15M km2 Ceiling at Feb. End – Climate- Science.press
  2. HiFast · March 3

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

    Like

  3. yumicpcake · March 6

    That meme!! Is that a typo or did Polar Bears become greater in numbers instead of declining?

    Like

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