Thursday, February 13, 2014

Potential Major Arctic Sea Ice Melt Season Coming - Record Low Sea Ice Extent for February 12, 2014

Usually in February and in March to come, the Arctic Sea ice reaches its greatest extent, area and thickness. However this season it is going through a major slow down in growth - actually declining some days in the last couple of weeks due to wind and temperature factors.

Here is today's NSIDC Sea Ice Extent for Feb 12, 2014, which appears to be in record low territory:

The IARC-JAXA graphic also depict a record low Arctic Sea Ice of 13,606,990 sq km:

The Cryosphere Today Arctic Sea Ice Area anomaly tells the story as well, depicting an anomaly one would more expect in August or September:

Jim Pettit posted the numbers for the IJIS Extent and CT Area on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum to summarise the records:

IJIS extent:

13,606,9902 (February 12, 2014)

Down 26,079 km2 from previous day
Down 75,0352 over past seven days
Down 9,7122 for the month-to-date

774,271 km2 below 2000s average for this date.
249,847 km2 below 2010s average for this date.
307,174 km2 below 2012 value for this date.

Lowest ever for the date (4th day this year in first place)
Fifth consecutive day, and 21st this year, among the lowest three years on record

CT Area:

12,586,1772 (February 12, 2014)

Down 34,896 km2 from previous day
Down 37,9302 over past seven days
Up 105,1302 for the month-to-date

771,425 km2 below 2000s average for this date.
204,177 km2 below 2010s average for this date.
89,816 km2 above 2012 value for this date.

Second lowest ever for the date.
Tenth consecutive day, and 12th this year, among the lowest three years on record

How the ice thickness and extent compares to prior years seems to leave the multi-year ice more vulnerable to melt in 2014 than the last two years. Here is the comparison between Feb 22, 2012 and 2013 (actual) and 2014 forecast:


At this point, this seems to leave the much of the multi-year ice in the Beaufort Sea for potential melt-out this season. Time will tell.

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