Usual Suspects in Arctic Melting April 15

The melt season is under way, and ice extents are shrinking in the usual places: Barents, Bering, Baffin Bay and Okhotsk. Nothing much is happening elsewhere.

As of day 2016  106 km2 max lost %  loss sea max
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 1039707 6.9%
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 5246 0.5%
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 949 0.1%
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 0 0.0%
 (4) Laptev_Sea 0 0.0%
 (5) Kara_Sea 9892 1.1%
 (6) Barents_Sea 141054 23.5%
 (7) Greenland_Sea 0 0.0%
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 370444 22.5%
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 2532 0.3%
 (10) Hudson_Bay 2945 0.2%
 (11) Central_Arctic 8171 0.3%
 (12) Bering_Sea 144767 18.8%
 (13) Baltic_Sea 75572 77.4%
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 596646 45.6%
 (15) Yellow_Sea 55182 100.0%
 (16) Cook_Inlet 5150 100.0%

It should be noted that Greenland Sea set a new max yesterday, and Central Arctic has risen lately near to its max on January 6.  Those seas are more likely to sustain ice extent through the September minimum.


The graph of MASIE data shows 2016 is virtually tied with 2015 and both are below the ten-year average.  SII started to be unreliable after day 97.

Looking at specific seas comparing this year and last:

Ice Extents 2015 2016 Ice Extent
Region 2015106 2016106 km2 Diff.
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 14049007 14037892 -11115
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070445 1065199 -5246
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 966006 965040 -966
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1087120 -17
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 897809 -36
 (5) Kara_Sea 918774 925096 6323
 (6) Barents_Sea 391374 458325 66951
 (7) Greenland_Sea 579909 659712 79804
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1570273 1274139 -296134
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 853214 850646 -2568
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1258284 1257926 -358
 (11) Central_Arctic 3219523 3237378 17855
 (12) Bering_Sea 649827 623466 -26361
 (13) Baltic_Sea 9568 22011 12443
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 574873 712050 137177

Clearly the main difference in 2016 is more rapid melting in Baffin Bay, and Bering Sea down slightly.  Many seas are similar, and some are higher including Barents, Greenland and Okhotsk (a lot).


Fasten your seat belts–Arctic melt season is underway.  Alarmists are rooting for more water, less ice, thinking that proves fossil fuels are warming the planet (it doesn’t).  Normal people figure some ice loss is a good thing, because it means the next ice age is another year further away.  Too much ice loss is bad because it may lead ignorant politicians to make stupid energy policies.

Anyway, the melt season is always entertaining and unpredictable, with unforeseen weather events overturning expected results.  Stay tuned.


On another thread I was asked about some recent scary reports about Greenland’s ice sheet. Since that is land ice, it is not included in sea ice measurements.  There is a balanced and informative article on DMI’s observations:

They refer to extent of 1 mm melting of the surface, and note an event in 2012 where 95% of the sheet had 1 mm or more melt water. Snow fall accumulates into ice, and also as the sheet grows, there is some calving of the surplus, also resulting in losses, but not in reducing the total ice.

I am skeptical of alarms about Greenland, as I posted in Greenland is Melting. Really?

The point is, Greenland ice sheet is also dynamic, meaning there is annually both ice melting and ice forming; the net is what matters.














One comment

  1. malanlewis · April 16, 2016

    It’s amazing that many people are so isolated from the the natural world that natural processes are alarming. Ice melts in the Spring! Who’d a thunk it?

    The Earth’s surface temperature has been gradually increasing for the past 15,000 years (this time around). Sea level has been gradually rising for the last 15,000 years. How can anyone suspect that reducing human CO2 production ( a naturally occurring and essential component of the atmosphere) would reverse or even stop these naturally occurring processes that predate human CO2 production by millions of years?

    “Man is the only animal that blushes… or needs to.” Mark twain


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