Pacific, Not Arctic Ice Melting April 30

The image above shows the disappearing ice in the two Pacific basins over the last 16 days of April.  Okhotsk on the left melted steadily, losing 400k km2 of ice during this period, with only 260k km2 or 20% of its March maximum remaining. Bering Sea on the right actually gained 150k km2 ice extent up to 315k km2, before losing 215k km2 in the last four days, with only 100k km2 of ice left.

Meanwhile the Arctic core, Russian ice shelves and Canadian Archipelago remain frozen  The image above shows ice extent waxing and waning at the margins, especially in Bafffin Bay left of Greenland, and in Greenland Sea in the center.  Barents Sea on the right ended up about the same as it started this period.

The graph below shows how the April Arctic extents compared to the 12 year average and to some years of interest.
MASIE shows NH ice extents 800k km2 below the 12 year average at both the beginning and end of April.  SII ended the month slightly higher.  At this point 2019 is also tracking below 2018 and 2007.  The deficit is mostly due to open water in the Pacific basins.
The green line shows the average NH extents excluding Bering and Okhotsk ice,  The purple line shows the same for 2019, excluding B&O ice.  On day 90, the 12 year average included 1.7M km2 of B&O ice, which dropped to 0.9M by day 120.  In contrast 2019 started the month with 1.3M km2 of B&O ice, with only 0.3M left at month end.  As the table below will show, the over all deficit to average is 800k km2, and 550k km2 is due to Bering and Okhotsk melting.

Region 2019120 Day 120 
Average
2019-Ave. 2007120 2019-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 12845831 13636708 -790876 13108068 -262237
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070463 1068049 2414 1059189 11273
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 908742 957319 -48578 949246 -40504
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1082230 1085731 -3500 1080176 2054
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 891192 6653 875661 22184
 (5) Kara_Sea 921837 912762 9075 864664 57173
 (6) Barents_Sea 564996 551830 13166 396544 168452
 (7) Greenland_Sea 544988 647270 -102283 644438 -99450
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1128210 1256132 -127923 1147115 -18905
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 853337 847923 5414 838032 15305
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1255410 1243542 11868 1222074 33336
 (11) Central_Arctic 3245152 3237039 8114 3241034 4118
 (12) Bering_Sea 100108 515469 -415361 475489 -375381
 (13) Baltic_Sea 9715 22746 -13032 14684 -4969
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 261111 396325 -135214 295743 -34632

Other than B&O losing ice, the other sizeable deficits to average are coming from Baffin Bay and Greenland Sea.  Of course, all of these basins will be ice-free as usual before September.

Drift ice in Okhotsk Sea at sunrise.

 

2 comments

  1. Hifast · May 2

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

    Like

  2. uwe.roland.gross · May 26

    Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

    Like

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