In the chart below MASIE shows 2016 Mid-June Arctic ice extent drew near to average and close to 2015, then dropped lower before again converging on average by the end. Now in July 2016 is matching the average extent measured over the last ten years, 2006-2015. With SII back on line, it was reporting similar extents during June (as it has in the past). Recently it is starting to underestimate again, ~400k km2 lower. (SII and MASIE comparison is here.)
Looking into the details, some marginal seas are melting earlier than last year, while the central, enduring ice pack is relatively unaffected. In fact, a large difference between 2016 and 2015 comes from the losses from maximums in a single place: Sea of Okhotsk. To date 1303k km2 of ice was lost this year vs. 753k km2 lost in 2015 in that sea at the same date.
Despite greater losses in Okhotsk, 2016 ice extent in July is fairly ordinary with slight differences across the regions. At the present pace of declining ice extents, the last three days 2016 matches the ten-year average, and is four days ahead of 2015.
Comparing the Arctic ice extents with their maximums shows the melting is occurring mostly in the marginal seas, now including Kara Sea as expected in June. Most of the additional ice loss in July comes from Baffin and Hudson Bays.
|2016188||NH Max Loss||% Loss Sea Max||% Total Loss|
It is clear from the above that the bulk of ice losses are coming from Okhotsk, Barents and Bering Seas (95+% melted), along with Kara Sea and Baffin Bay-St. Lawrence (70+% melted). Hudson Bay has lost 42% of max extent. All of them are marginal seas that will go down close to zero by September. Note: Some seas are not at max on the NH max day. Thus, totals from adding losses will vary from NH daily total.
For additional context on Arctic melt see last Arctic Ice Watch June 30