My previous Arctic ice report was limited by technical difficulties, now resolved as shown by the animation above. So this update comes a week into May, with the animation covering the last three weeks from mid April. The dramatic melting in the Pacific basins of Bering and Okhotsk (left) sets them apart from the rest of Arctic sea ice. As noted before, those two basins are outside the Arctic circle, have no polar bears and are the first places to become open water in the Spring. Elsewhere sea ice persisted, actually growing in Barents and Greenland seas.
[The staff at National Ice Center were extremely helpful, as usual. Their work is distinctive, valuable and deserving of your appreciation. See Support MASIE Arctic Ice Dataset]
The melting effect on NH total ice extents during this period is presented in the graph below.
The graph above shows ice extent mid-April through May 7 comparing 2022 MASIE reports with the 16-year average, other recent years and with SII. 2022 ice extents have tracked the average, going surplus for the last 10 days. .Both 2021 and 2007 are well below average, on day 127 lower than 2022 by 318k km2 and 443k km2 respectively. The two green lines at the bottom show average and 2022 extents when Bering and Okhotsk ice are excluded. On this basis 2022 Arctic ice was nearly 400k km2 in surplus on May 7, and prior to yesterday, the horizontal line shows little loss of ice extent elsewhere than in the Pacific.
|Region||2022127||Day 127 Average||2022-Ave.||2007127||2022-2007|
The only deficits to average are in Bering and Okhotsk, more than offset by surpluses everywhere else, especially in Barents and Greenland seas, along with Kara and Baffin Bay. At this point, overall NH sea ice is 88% of last March maximum (15.1M kim2). All regions are well above 90% of their maxes, except for Barents (81%), Baffin Bay (66%), Bering (33%) and Okhotsk (20%).
April 1st Footnote:
It has been a long hard winter, requiring overtime efforts by Norwegian icebreakers like this one:
In addition, cold Spring temperatures led to unusual sightings of Northern creatures: