Category Archives: Melt

Facts About the Arctic in June 2021

Let’s begin the month with a “true colour” image from the Terra satellite of the Laptev Sea and thereabouts:

The blueish tinge indicates the appearance of melt ponds almost everywhere over the land-fast ice currently covering the majority of the Laptev Sea.

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The Northwest Passage in 2021

Prompted by a comment on the Northwest Passage thread from last year I’m opening the 2021 equivalent earlier than usual, in part because there’s already a lot going on of interest. First of all let’s get our bearings with the help of this map of the area:

and another map detailing the routes through Canadian Arctic Archipelago that have previously been successfully traversed:

The forecast high pressure has arrived and the skies have cleared over the Beaufort Sea, which reveals that the land-fast ice off the Mackenzie Delta has started breaking up:

In addition the snow has been melting along the valley of the Mackenzie River, and the resulting increased flow at the mouth of the delta is flooding the fast ice:

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Facts About the Arctic in May 2021

It’s May Day 2021, and just for a change we’re going to start the month off with a pretty picture!

Parts of the Laptev Sea are starting to look distinctly “warm” in the infra-red. Here’s a “false colour” image taken by the Terra satellite during a gap in the clouds:

We have reached the time of year when the SMOS “thin ice thickness” readings start being affected by surface melt, but let’s take a look anyway:

That area of the Laptev certainly appears to be either thin or melting.

Meanwhile on the Canadian side of the Arctic the fast ice off the Mackenzie Delta is starting to get damp, even though the river itself still looks to be fairly well frozen:

It will also be interesting to follow the progress of this large floe as it heads towards oblivion through the Fram Strait:

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Summer 2016 Surface Melt Takes Off

June has arrived, and according to the Great White Con Arctic sea ice calendar that means the summer surface melting season has started. Once July arrives bottom melt should have started in earnest too, but for now let’s stick to the surface. Here’s the Climate Reanalyzer map of Arctic surface air temperatures at 06:00 UTC this morning:

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