Day 290, October 17, 2015 was a day with several significant events regarding Arctic ice recovery. For the first time since day 218, August 6, ice extent is again over 7M km2. MASIE shows 7.32M compared to NOAA at 7.15M.
The gain yesterday was 557k km2, twice the largest previous increases. As a result, 2015 lags behind 2014 by a single day.
The rate of ice recovery this year since minimum day 260 is 100k km2 per day, 10k greater than 2014, and the highest in the last decade, except for 2013.
The BCE region (Beaufort, Chukchi, East Siberian) is now 105% of 2014 at this date. Hudson and Baffin Bays combined exceed 2014; Kara and Laptev combined are also larger; Greenland Sea is slightly higher. The largest remaining difference is Barents, which melted early and has not recovered. CAA is slowly recovering after the August 2015 storm, and the Central Arctic is down in recent days.
From MASIE (2014 dataset is missing day 290):
|Ice Extents||2014289||2015290||Ice Extent|
The comparison with 2014 informs us whether this year will “bend the trend” of recovering ice extent since 2007, and by how much. The pace of refreezing this year is impressive and the end result remains to be seen. My guess: 2015 Average Annual extent will finish as the 3rd highest in the last 10 years, ahead of every year before 2013.