Arctic Ice High Jump

For ice extent in the Arctic, the bar is set at 15M km2. The average in the last 11 years occurs on day 73 at 15.07M before descending. Most years are able to clear 15M, except for 2006, 2007 and 2015 who topped out below that height.

Yesterday, March 2, 2016 cleared 15M, but will not reach that level again. 2016 will now drop down to 14.6M, rise to day 84 average of 14.9M, then start the descent into spring and summer. Typically, Arctic ice extent loses 67 to 70% of the March maximum by mid September, before recovering the ice in building toward the next March.

arctic-ice-2017061

As reported previously, 2017 rose to the average in February, then lost extent for two days and is now increasing again.  The next two weeks will be interesting. The average year in the last eleven gained about 20k km2 from now to mid March. But the variability ranged from 2015 losing 350K while 2010 gained 300k km2. What will the ice do this year?  Where will 2017 rank in the annual Arctic Ice High Jump competition?

Drift ice in Okhotsk Sea at sunrise.

As reported previously, Arctic ice extents are solid in most seas, but continue to fluctuate at the margins. In the latter part of February 2017 there was a great leap upward for nine days, nearly reaching average and surpassing 2016, before falling back after day 53. The surplus over 2006 is now 500k km2. SII reports about 360k km2 less extent than MASIE.

arctic-ice-2017058

The Atlantic upward leap and back in Barents and Baffin.

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Note both Barents and Baffin pulled back slightly.

The Pacific shifting up and down in Bering and Okhotsk.

output_xhr2x3Note that Okhotsk continued to gain while Bering pulled back since day 53.

While the seesaws are tilting back and forth on the margins, the bulk of the Arctic is frozen solid. And with limited places where more extent can be added, the pace of overall growth has slowed.

The table below shows ice extents in the seas comprising the Arctic, comparing 2017 day 058 with the same day average over the last 11 years and with 2006.

Region 2017058 Day 058
Average
2017-Ave. 2006058 2017-2006
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 14652502 14960594 -308093 14148072 504430
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070445 1070111 334 1069711 734
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 966006 965342 664 961796 4210
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1087095 43 1086702 435
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 897835 10 897773 71
 (5) Kara_Sea 933720 927244 6476 899871 33849
 (6) Barents_Sea 550872 612576 -61704 466622 84251
 (7) Greenland_Sea 595616 638641 -43025 575532 20084
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1496540 1472634 23906 1290424 206116
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 853214 852984 230 852715 499
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1260903 1260333 571 1257077 3827
 (11) Central_Arctic 3218090 3221265 -3176 3181409 36681
 (12) Bering_Sea 547532 742754 -195222 549141 -1609
 (13) Baltic_Sea 70844 117633 -46789 111391 -40547
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 1048295 1043395 4900 877854 170441
 (15) Yellow_Sea 1420 13921 -12501 8431 -7011
 (16) Cook_Inlet 9940 9665 275 4686 5254

The table shows that 2017 ice extent exceeds 2006 by about 500k km2 at this date. Surpluses are sizeable in Barents, Baffin and Okhotsk, with only the Baltic showing a deficit.  Baffin and Okhotsk are now average, and the 300k km2 deficit to average comes from Bering in the Pacific, and Barents and Greenland Seas on the Atlantic side

The big picture compares this day in 2017 with 2006.  Not much change overall, but a slight increase of 500k km2.

output_4fhczm

 

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4 comments

  1. Pethefin · March 7

    It looks like the Svalbar ice is reaching for the Bjornoya at the moment. From the looks of it, only about 30 km to the shore today but the winds have changed again and it is almost certain the ice will not reach the shores of the island..

    Like

    • Ron Clutz · March 7

      Yes, Barents is almost back to 600k km2 as it was on day 53, the ice idge image shows it trying to encircle Svalbard. Don’t know if there is time for it to succeed.

      Like

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