For detailed analysis of Arctic sea ice extent over the next few weeks please see the 2022 maximum extent thread. However to get the new open thread going here is the current JAXA/ViSHOP extent graph:
It’s looking more and more as though the real maximum for 2022 occurred close the false peak on February 23rd.
Arctic sea ice volume will keep increasing for a while longer. Here is the current AWI CryoSat-2/SMOS volume graph:
The recent “flat line” in extent is in part due to recent events on the Pacific periphery of the Arctic. Take a look at this animation of AMSR2 sea ice concentration:
The gap varies depending on how the wind blows, but there is still evidence of open water (or very thin ice) along the shore of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Here’s the Mackenzie Delta and the adjacent Beaufort Sea on March 5th:
[Edit – March 9th]
There’s plenty of thin ice elsewhere in the Arctic as well, as revealed by SMOS:
The Polar Science Center at the University of Washington has released the PIOMAS volume data for February 2022:
Average Arctic sea ice volume in February 2022 was 19,700 km3. This value is the 9th lowest on record for February, about 2,400 km^3 above the record set in 2017. Monthly ice volume was 35% below the maximum in 1979 and 18% below the mean value for 1979-2021. Average February 2022 ice volume was 1.25 standard deviations above the 1979-2021 trend line. Ice growth anomalies for February 2022 continued to be at the upper end of the most recent decade:
The ice thickness anomaly map for February 2022 relative to 2011-2020 shows positive anomalies in the Beaufort and Chukchi but negative anomalies in the Kara and Laptev Seas from. The negative anomalies that have been present North of Greenland are weakening and a positive anomaly exists north of Baffin Island:
CryoSat 2 ice thickness shows an overall similar pattern of sea ice thickness anomalies though the areas North of Greenland and Baffin Bay show substantial differences:
Here’s an interesting new paper on Arctic sea ice thickness, and hence volume, derived from both from both ICESat-2 and CryoSat-2 data:
“Arctic snow depth, ice thickness and volume from ICESat-2 and CryoSat-2: 2018-2021“
[Edit – March 12th]
The measurement concept is based on differencing the freeboards from IS-2 (which measures the height of the air-snow interface above the local sea surface) and CS-2 (which measures the height of the snow-ice interface above the local sea surface)…
For the three years between 2019 and 2021, there is a decrease in both the mean April snow depth (~2.50cm) and ice thickness (~0.28m). Spatial composites of snow and ice thickness in 2019-20 and 2020-21 show notable thinning of both these variables in the MY-ice regions north of Greenland and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The thinning is higher over multiyear ice (compared to the first-year ice) with an end-of-season thickness in 2021 that is lower by ~16.1% (0.50m). Overall, thinning of the ice covers over the period are largely explained by decreases in MY-ice thickness and coverage. In contrast, variability in end-of-season FY-ice thickness (between 1.84 and 2.03 m) seems insignificant.
Some warm air is forecast to be heading for the North Pole via the Fram Strait by Monday morning:[Edit – March 16th]
A nice animation of recent Arctic sea ice movement from Lars Kaleschke of AWI:
Plus Arctic surface temperature anomalies this morning:
Here’s the latest high resolution AMSR2 area, extent and compaction graphs:
The recent storms and accompanying advection of heat and moisture have had a significant impact on sea ice extent and particularly area. Here too is the latest AWI CryoSat-2/SMOS sea ice thickness map:
and the AWI sea ice concentration/leads map:
Here are today’s temperature anomalies up north:
Meanwhile down under in the Antarctic some areas are over 32 °C warmer than “normal”:[Edit – March 26th]
Here is the latest AWI CryoSat-2/SMOS volume graph:
The balance between thickening of the sea ice in the central Arctic versus melting at the periphery has resulted in volume flatlining for the past couple of weeks.
Please see the new open thread for April.