On May1, we have the complete Arctic ice extent record for April 2016. So we can look at how the melt season is progressing. As you can see, the ice is down a little, but no reason to put out a distress signal.
These are results from MASIE, the most accurate dataset. SII from NOAA is shown with the data available as of today. Clearly, SII is having unresolved technical difficulties, and April stats are NA.
MASIE shows 2016 less than the ten-year average and slightly less than last year at end of April. 2016 average for April is about 200k km2 less than 2015, exactly offsetting the surpluses of ice in February and March.
Here is how the melting is occurring in the various Arctic seas.
|April 30, 2016 day 121||km2 loss||% loss|
The losses are the difference from the recorded maximums. All other seas are at or more than 96% of max.
Since some seas are not at max on the day of NH max, adding losses from individual seas will vary from the NH total.
So May starts with this year and last in similar overall positions. However, the details are different. Here is the two Day 121 extents compared.
|Ice Extents||2015||2016||Ice Extent|
The table shows a small overall difference of 65k km2. The losses are principally in Bering, Barents and Baffin bay, offset by surpluses in Okhotsk and Greenland Seas. So far the main locations of persistent ice are showing no signs of melting: BCE, Central Arctic and CAA (Canadian Arctic Archipelago).
Arctic ice is melting as it normally does in April, and no one knows what will happen in May and afterwards. Stay tuned.