The extent of Arctic ice fell to a new wintertime low in March 2017. But springtime ice persisted and in June is hanging around the decadal average.
The first half of June this year’s extent was above the decadal average despite early melting in Bering and Okhotsk Seas, Those two Pacific basins are now ice-free, typical for end of June. Presently 2017 is tied with 2016 and 2007 about 200k km2 below average. The recent drop was largely due to Hudson Bay going to open water in just ten days (images at Ten Days in Hudson Bay).
For the month, average extent in 2017 was 11M km2 compared to the the decadal average of 10.9M km2, ranking this year fifth since 2006. SII 2017 average for June was 10.7M km2 and is presently showing 200k km2 less ice than MASIE does with its higher resolution. During June more than 2M km2 ice extent was lost and presently stands at 65% of the March maximum.
The Table compares 2017 day 181 ice extents with the decadal average and 2007.
The pattern continues with seas on the Pacific side showing deficits to average, while Atlantic Arctic seas show surpluses. Bering and Okhotsk averages are still 30k km2 higher but will soon disappear. The noticeable deficits are in BCE (Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian) and in Hudson Bay.
Barents Sea demonstrates the surplus of 2017 sea ice extents inside the Arctic Circle. The graph below shows Barents this year continues to be above average matching the record year of 2014.
The black line is average for the last 11 years. 2007 in purple appears close to an average year. 2014 had the highest annual extent in Barents Sea, due to higher and later maximums, holding onto ice during the summer, and recovering quickly. In contrast, 2016 was the lowest annual extent, melting out early and recovering later. 2017 in blue started out way behind, but grew rapidly to reach average, and then persisted longer to exceed even 2014. It may yet beat out 2014 as the highest in the last 11 years.
For more on why Barents Sea matters see Barents Icicles