Category Archives: News

Facts About the Arctic in February 2023

A new month has arrived, and during January several Arctic sea ice metrics have been drifting towards the bottom of their respective decadal ranges. To begin with here is AWI’s high resolution AMSR2 extent graph, which is currently very close to being lowest for the date in the AMSR2 record:

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Facts About the Arctic in January 2023

At the beginning of the New Year all the central regions of the Arctic are now refrozen apart from a small area of the Kara Sea:

Most Arctic sea ice metrics are near the middle of their respective ranges over the last decade. By way of example, here is a graph of Arctic Freezing Degree Days based on the Danish Meteorological Institute’s temperature data for the area north of 80 degrees latitude:

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Facts About the Arctic in December 2022

A new month is upon us and Christmas is coming! Here’s another look at Lars Kaleschke’s high resolution AMSR2 area and extent graphs for the Arctic as a whole:

Extent increase stalled for the last few days of November, and as a result extent is now in a “statistical tie” with 2017 for 4th lowest extent for the date in the AMSR2 record.

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Facts About the Arctic in November 2022

A change is allegedly as good as a rest, so here’s an alternative view of high resolution AMSR2 area and extent created using the experimental tools provided by the AWI’s Lars Kaleschke at: https://sites.google.com/view/sea-ice/

After a brief pause mid-month the refreeze has accelerated again. Both metrics are in the upper half of the decadal range, with extent this year just above 2021 and area just below last year.

Next let’s take a look at sea ice concentration at the end of October:

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The Primacy of Doubt

Recently Judith Curry published a series of articles on the topic of blackouts. Since attempting to prevent such things is my “professional” speciality I’ve spent a bit of time over at “Climate Etc.” recently. Hence I couldn’t help but notice Judith’s article on Tim Palmer‘s new book, entitled “The Primacy of Doubt”. According to Judith:

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Facts About the Arctic in October 2022

The 2022/23 freezing season has begun, so to begin with here are Arctic sea ice area and extent during its early stages:

Both metrics are currently tracking 2021 quite closely.

Here too is an AMSR2 animation of the transition from melting to freezing in the Central Arctic. Click to animate, and be warned that the file size is almost 10 Mb:

[Edit – October 4th]

Another big storm is heading for the Chukchi Sea. The GFS forecast currently shows a sub 960 hPa low developing on Thursday:

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Facts About the Arctic in September 2022

As in previous years there is already a thread devoted to this year’s minimum extent. By way of a summary here are the end of August numbers for our favourite “high resolution” AMSR2 area and extent metrics:

Extent is currently near the top of the range of the last 10 years.

We have now reached the stage of the “melting season” when “refreezing” has started in the Central Arctic but melting at the periphery is outpacing it. However the Canadian Ice Service stage of development charts now show the arrival of new ice in the high latitudes of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago:

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Facts About the Arctic in August 2022

We’ll start the new month in traditional fashion. Here’s the high resolution AMSR2 sea ice extent and area:

Extent decline in July proved to be somewhat sluggish by recent standards. A week ago I posed the question:

Is 2022 more likely to follow the path of 2012, 2013 or 2016 to this year’s minimum?

At the moment the answer seems to be “2013 Jim!”. However what about the condition of all that ice? Here’s the latest AMSR2 concentration map:

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The North Pole in the Summer of 2022

After a long hiatus courtesy of the demise of the annual Barneo ice camp and the Covid-19 pandemic we are pleased to be able to report that an ice mass balance buoy has once again been installed on a floe in the vicinity of the North Pole. Here’s the evidence:

The ship in the background is not a traditional research icebreaker. It is Ponant Cruises’ Le Commandant Charcot, one of a number of new ice hardened cruise ships voyaging across the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas. Le Commandant Charcot reached 90N on July 13th:

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Polarstern in the Svalbard Marginal Ice Zone

In a press release last week the Alfred Wegener Institute announced that:

From her home port in Bremerhaven, the Polarstern will set course for Fram Strait and the marginal ice zone north of Svalbard, where warm, nutrient-rich Atlantic Water flows into the Arctic Ocean.

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