2019 Arctic Ice Demise Deferred Again

The graph shows the annual minimum September monthly average sea ice extent in NH from 2007 through 2019 according to two different data sets:  Sea Ice Index (SII) from NOAA and Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent (MASIE) from NIC.  The chart begins with 2007 ending a decadal decline and beginning 12 years of fluctuations around a plateau.  SII and MASIE give quite similar results for September, with SII slightly higher early on, and also showing more ice this year.  The linear trendlines are flat for both indices with 2019 being similar to 2007.

MASIE daily results for September show 2019 early melting followed by an early stabilizing and refreezing.
Note that 2019 started the month about 800k km2 below the 12 year average (2007 through 2018 inclusive).  There was little additional loss of ice, a rise then a dip below 4 M km2, and a sharp rise ending the month.  Interestingly, 2019 matched the lowest year 2012 at the start, but ended the month well ahead of both 2012 and 2007.

The table for day 273 shows distribution of ice across the regions making up the Arctic ocean.

Region 2019273 Day 273 Average 2019-Ave. 2007273 2019-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 4461290 4964938 -503649 4086883 374407
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 467540 535783 -68243 498743 -31203
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 114218 203936 -89717 51 114167
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 111249 334295 -223046 311 110938
 (4) Laptev_Sea 39689 171917 -132228 235245 -195556
 (5) Kara_Sea 18 27661 -27643 15367 -15349
 (6) Barents_Sea 6488 17303 -10815 4851 1637
 (7) Greenland_Sea 253624 236219 17405 353210 -99587
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 47659 53503 -5844 42247 5412
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 373697 388886 -15189 307135 66562
 (10) Hudson_Bay 0 4471 -4471 1936 -1936
 (11) Central_Arctic 3045966 2989860 56106 2626511 419455

Presently 2019 ice extent according to MASIE is 500k km2 (10%) below the 12 year average and 374k km2 more than 2007. Most of the deficit to average is in East Siberian and Laptev seas, along with the Pacific seas of Beaufort and Chukchi.  Other places are close to normal, with Central Arctic higher than average and much greater than 2007.

The Bigger Picture 

The annual Arctic ice extent minimum typically occurs on or about day 260 (mid September). Some take any year’s slightly lower minimum as proof that Arctic ice is dying, but the image below shows the second week in September over the last 11 years. The Arctic heart is beating clear and strong.

These are weekly ice charts from AARI in St. Petersburg.  The legend says the brown area is 7/10 to 10/10 ice concentration, while green areas are 1/10 to 6/10 ice covered. North American arctic areas are not analyzed in these images.  Note how the distribution of sea ice varies from year to year, and how small was the extent after the 2012 Great Arctic cyclone.

Over this decade, the Arctic ice minimum has not declined, but since 2007 looks like fluctuations around a plateau. By mid-September, all the peripheral seas have turned to water, and the residual ice shows up in a few places. The table below indicates where we can expect to find ice this September. Numbers are area units of Mkm2 (millions of square kilometers).

Day 260 12 year
Arctic Regions 2007 2010 2012 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Average
Central Arctic Sea 2.67 3.16 2.64 2.98 2.93 2.92 3.07 2.91 2.97 2.93
BCE 0.50 1.08 0.31 1.38 0.89 0.52 0.84 1.16 0.46 0.89
LKB 0.29 0.24 0.02 0.19 0.05 0.28 0.26 0.02 0.11 0.16
Greenland & CAA 0.56 0.41 0.41 0.55 0.46 0.45 0.52 0.41 0.36 0.46
B&H Bays 0.03 0.03 0.02 0.02 0.10 0.03 0.07 0.05 0.01 0.04
NH Total 4.05 4.91 3.40 5.13 4.44 4.20 4.76 4.56 3.91 4.48

The table includes three early years of note along with the last 6 years compared to the 12 year average for five contiguous arctic regions. BCE (Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian) on the Asian side are quite variable as the largest source of ice other than the Central Arctic itself.   Greenland Sea and CAA (Canadian Arctic Archipelago) together hold almost 0.5M km2 of ice at annual minimum, fairly consistently.   LKB are the European seas of Laptev, Kara and Barents, a smaller source of ice, but a difference maker some years, as Laptev was in 2016.  Baffin and Hudson Bays are inconsequential as of day 260.

For context, note that the average maximum has been 15M, so on average the extent shrinks to 30% of the March high before growing back the following winter.

5 comments

  1. Pingback: 2019 Arctic Ice Demise Deferred Again - The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)
  2. Hifast · October 2

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

    Like

  3. another Jim · October 4

    No crisis, OK!
    Graphing from 0 to 6 would emphasize the lack of change. Just sayin.

    Like

    • Ron Clutz · October 4

      Fair point Jim. Let’s see: Wadham predicted the extent would be below 1M km2 by now (which he defined as “ice-free”). So the lower limit could justifiably be set to 1M or even 0. So presently the Arctic minimum ice extent is about 4 Wadhams, far from ice-free.

      Like

  4. Mervyn Sullivan · October 6

    People should learn and understand the nature of natural climate variability.

    Have climate alarmists ever wondered about the Arctic at the time Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen successfully conquered the Northwest Passage by ship (1903-1906), and the implications in the context of toady’s climate hysteria?

    Like

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