The Amazing Arctic Ice Hockey Stick

  • Date: 19/07/18
  • Ron Clutz, Science Matters

No one knows how long this divergence of surplus ice will persist, but for now 2018 Arctic ice extent resembles a hockey stick.  Presently the ice is 525.000 km^2 above 11 year average (2007 to 2017 inclusive) and  ~1M km^2 greater than 2007.

More detailed report from July 14 below.

ims1952007to2018

In June 2018, Arctic ice extent held up against previous years despite the Pacific basins of Bering and Okhotsk being ice-free.  The Arctic core is showing little change, perhaps due to increased thickness (volume) as reported by DMI.

The image above shows ice extents on day 195 (July 14) for years 2007, 2012, 2017 and 2018. Note this year ice is strong on both Russian and N. American sides.  Beaufort Sea and Canadian Archipelago are solid. E. Siberian and Chukchi Seas are also solid, despite early melting in Bering Sea.  Hudson and Baffin bays still have considerable ice compared to other years.

The graph below shows how the Arctic extent has faired in July compared to the 11 year average and to some years of interest.
Arctic day 195
Note that 2018 started July well above the 11 year average and other recent years.  As of day 195 (yesterday) ice extent is still greater than average and the years 2007 and 2017.  SII 2018 is tracking well below MASIE this month, a gap of 500k km2 at this point.

The table below shows ice extents by regions comparing 2018 with 11-year average (2007 to 2017 inclusive) and 2017.

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