2020 Pacific Ice Rebounds

A previous post reprinted below pointed out how Pacific ice recovers in fits and starts, often see sawing between Bering and Okhotsk Seas.  Now both of them are growing faster than the 13 year average (2007 to 2019 inclusive).  The image above shows how much colder is Alaska this year versus 2019, probably related to Bering icing over.  In the last 9 days, Bering added 100k km2, now up to 85% of last March max.  Okhotsk added 150k km2 up to 67% of last March max.

The graph shows how January 2020 compared to 13 year average and some other years of interest.

This year’s recovery is matching and slightly exceeding average, and ahead of other recent years.  MASIE shows extents slightly higher than SII.

By January there are not many places where Arctic ice extent can grow.  All the Eurasian shelf seas are full, as is the case on the CanAm side: Beaufort, CAA, Hudson Bay covered completely.  Barents  and Greenland Seas have some room to grow, as does Baffin Bay.  But mainly the variability is on the Pacific side, where the usual Bering/Okhotsk see saw is reappearing.

As we have seen in past winters, ice in the Pacific Arctic tends to grow in fits and spurts, often alternating between Bering and Okhotsk Seas.  The above image of the first two weeks of 2020 shows Okhotsk on the left growing ice steadily while Bering waffled back and forth ending with almost the same extent.  Combined the two seas ice extents are slightly below the 13 year average at this time, due to Bering’s slow recovery.

The January graph shows MASIE and SII reporting the same pace of ice recovery and matching 2019.  This is somewhat below the 13 year average (2007 to 2019 inclusive) and higher than 2017 and 2018. The table below shows the distribution of ice extent among the Arctic regions on January 14.

Region 2020014 Day 014 Average 2020-Ave. 2018014 2020-2018
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 13541376 13776703 -235327 13340428 200948
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070655 1070223 432 1070445 210
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 965972 965812 160 965971 1
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1087133 4 1087120 18
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 897842 3 897845 0
 (5) Kara_Sea 932936 909656 23280 925247 7689
 (6) Barents_Sea 619526 508236 111290 393026 226500
 (7) Greenland_Sea 483377 610574 -127197 521896 -38519
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1039079 1172487 -133408 1173039 -133960
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 854282 853058 1225 853109 1174
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1260192 1251600 8592 1260838 -646
 (11) Central_Arctic 3233354 3210543 22811 3194383 38971
 (12) Bering_Sea 414963 521989 -107026 241830 173133
 (13) Baltic_Sea 8863 43903 -35040 24486 -15623
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 651004 626433 24571 696684 -45681

2019 NH ice is 235k km2 below the 13-year average, or 1.7%, and 200k km2 more than 2018 on that date.  The deficits are in Bering, Greenland Sea and Baffin Bay, partly offset by surpluses in Barents, Kara and Okhotsk.

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The next month or so will show how the Pacific ice shapes up.

seesaw

 

 

 

3 comments

  1. Hifast · 30 Days Ago

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

    Like

  2. cognog2 · 30 Days Ago

    The BBC will of course include this in its output coming up to COP26 in Glasgow. (sarc.

    Like

    • Ron Clutz · 30 Days Ago

      Along with a commitment to remove Scottish windmills and put the trees back (sarc)

      Like

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