Lowest Arctic Sea-Ice Extent On Record

Full Report

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02May19

Arctic sea ice extent for April 2019 averaged 13.45 million square kilometers (5.19 million square miles). This was 1.24 million square kilometers (479,000 square miles) below the 1981 to 2010 long-term average extent and 230,000 square kilometers (89,000 square miles) below the previous record low set in April 2016.

Rapid ice loss occurred in the Sea of Okhotsk during the first half of April; the region lost almost 50 percent of its ice by April 18. Although sea ice was tracking at record low levels in the Bering Sea from April 1 to 12, the ice cover expanded later in the month (particularly in the Bering Sea and B-K area temporarily).   Elsewhere, there was little change except for small losses in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the southern part of the East Greenland Sea, and southeast of Svalbard. In addition, open water areas developed along coastal regions of the Barents Sea. The ice edge expanded slightly east of Novaya Zemlya.

Based on my personal experience in modeling Arctic Sea-Ice at minimum, the only sign of hope for North America this Winter stems from the re-icing in the B-K, even if temporarily.  Although the clearing of the coastal regions was not anticipated. This is really a note-to-self in an effort to push back my ability to model precising before Arctic Sea Ice minimum.


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