2019 Arctic Ice Demise Deferred Again

  • Date: 02/10/19
  • Ron Cluz, Science Matters

Over the last 12 years, the Arctic ice minimum has not declined, and since 2007 looks like fluctuations around a plateau.

The graph shows the annual minimum September monthly average sea ice extent in NH from 2007 through 2019 according to two different data sets:  Sea Ice Indiex (SII) from NOAA and Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent (MASIE) from NIC..  The chart begins with 2007 ending a decadal decline and beginning 12 years of fluctuations around a plateau.  SII and MASIE give quite similar results for September, with SII slightly higher early on, and also showing more ice this year.  The linear trendlines are flat for both indices with 2019 being similar to 2007.

MASIE daily results for September show 2019 early melting followed by an early stabilizing and refreezing.

Note that 2019 started the month about 800k km2 below the 12 year average (2007 through 2018 inclusive).  There was little additional loss of ice, a rise then a dip below 4 M km2, and a sharp rise ending the month.  Interestingly, 2019 matched the lowest year 2012 at the start, but ended the month well ahead of both 2012 and 2007.

Presently 2019 ice extent according to MASIE is 500k km2 (10%) below the 12 year average and 374k km2 more than 2007.. Most of the deficit to average is in East Siberian and Laptev seas, along with the Pacific seas of Beaufort and Chukchi.  Other places are close to normal, with Central Arctic higher than average and much greater than 2007.

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