April 1 Resilient Arctic Ice (No Fooling)

Previous posts showed 2022 Arctic Ice broke the 15M km2 ceiling in February, followed by a typical small melt in March.  Climatology refers to the March monthly average ice extent as indicative of the annual maximum Arctic ice extent.  The graph above shows that the March monthly average has varied little since 2007, typically around the SII average of 14.7 M km2.  Of course there are regional differences as described later on.

The animation shows ice extent fluctuations during March 2022. Bering Sea (lower left) gained ice over the month, while ice in Okhotsk (higher left) retreated. At the top Kara and Barents seas lost and then gained ice.  Baffin Bay lower right lost ice during March.  The main changes were Baffin losing ~360k km2 of extent and Okhotsk losing ~260k km2.

The effect on NH total ice extents is presented in the graph below.

The graph above shows ice extent through March comparing 2022 MASIE reports with the 16-year average, other recent years and with SII.  Hovering around 15M km2 the first week, 2022 ice extents dropped sharply mid month, then stabilized and at March end matched the average. Both 2020 and 2021 ended nearly 400k km2 below average. The two green lines at the bottom show average and 2022 extents when Okhotsk ice is excluded.  On this basis 2022 Arctic was nearly 400k km2 in surplus, then declined mid month before ending nearly 200k km2 in surplus to average, except for the ice shortage in Okhotsk.

Region 2022090 Day 90 Average 2022-Ave. 2021090 2022-2021
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 14563095 14616765  -53670  14266634 296461 
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070776 1070116  660  1070689 87 
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 966006 963906  2100  966006
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1086102  1035  1087137
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 896958  887  897827 18 
 (5) Kara_Sea 935023 918083  16941  935023
 (6) Barents_Sea 748326 645014  103311  602392 145934 
 (7) Greenland_Sea 616239 652388  -36148  620574 -4334 
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1441014 1400528  40486  1243739 197275 
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 854685 852982  1703  854597 88 
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1260903 1254217  6687  1260903
 (11) Central_Arctic 3245216 3232275  12941  3192844 52373 
 (12) Bering_Sea 785874 720525 65348  549939 235935 
 (13) Baltic_Sea 52068 63446  -11377  33543 18525 
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 596190 849221  -253031  942085 -345895 

The table shows that the large deficit in Okhotsk is only partially offset by surpluses in Bering and Barents Seas.  All other regions show typical extents at end of March


April 1st Footnote:

It has been a long hard winter, requiring overtime efforts by Norwegian icebreakers like this one:

In addition, cold March temperatures led to unusual sightings of Northern creatures:

Not only Polar bears are flourishing!



  1. Andrè Vågsholm · April 1, 2022

    På 1980 og fram til 1987 så produserte der ikke is i berigsstrete og på svalbard,eg var i alaska på 1980 tallet og 1983 på svalbard og øst og west grøndland etter 1987 så begynte det å produsere is i gjenn,då har det vert Unormale lite is på nord kallotten,så eg trur nok att isen går etter golfstrømenn opp og ned med produksjon av is.


    • Ron Clutz · April 1, 2022

      Thanks Andrè. From Google translate:
      Between 1980 and 1987, ice did not produce ice in the 1980s and 1983s in eastern and west Greenland. After 1987, it started producing ice again, so it has hosted Abnormally little ice on the north coast, so I think that the ice goes after the gulf stream up and down with the production of ice.


  2. Pingback: April 1 Resilient Arctic Ice (No Fooling) – Climate- Science.press
  3. HiFast · April 14, 2022

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.


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