As We Head Towards the Arctic Sea-Ice Maximum

Screen Shot 2019-02-22 at 10.38.16 AM

“Arctic sea ice extent for January averaged 13.56 million square kilometers (5.24 million square miles). This was 860,000 square kilometers (332,000 square miles) below the 1981 to 2010 long-term average sea ice extent, and 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles) above the record low for the month set in January 2018.”

January 2019 was the 6th lowest January extent in the 1979 to 2019 satellite record!

“The average rate of daily ice growth of 51,200 square kilometers (19,800 square miles) was faster than the long-term average.  Ice growth primarily occurred in the Bering Sea and Sea of Okhotsk in the Pacific sector as well as in the Labrador and Kara Seas. Some ice spread to the northeast of Svalbard, while retreating slightly to the northwest of these islands. Total ice extent was tracking at eighth lowest on January 31, with below average extent in nearly all sectors of the Arctic.”

Why is this important?  As our ability to incorporate new data into the Sea-Ice models improves, we can start to look at the Sea-Ice Maximum for hints of what the Sea-Ice Minimum will look like come September, vis-a-vis re-growth in the Barents-Kara Sea Region (B-K Region).

As I type the main re-growth and fastest re-growth is in the Pacific and Bering Sea region, not the B-K Region.

It looks as if maximum will occur in the first week of March.  No Polar Bear have been counted off Alaska in 5 years now.  You can see why now, by looking at the Sea-Ice concentration.


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