Arctic Ice Plentiful Mid May 2023

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From Science Matters

By Ron Clutz

The image above shows 2023 Arctic ice extents from Mid April (day 106) to Mid May (day 135). As usual, the LIFO pattern is observed: ice that is Last In is the First Out. The Pacific basins of Okhotsk (top left) and Bering (bottom left) rapidly turn to open water. Baffin Bay (lower right) melts more slowly. Barents Sea (top center loses ice extent steadily. Note Hudson Bay (bottom) keeps its ice, and Canadian Archipelago (lower center) retains most of its ice. On the left center, the Eurasian coastline remains frozen.

The graph below shows 2023 compared to 17 year average and some recent years for this time period.

Firstly, on average this period shows ice declining 1.44 M km2 down to 12.68M km2,  Note that  2023 matched the average in April, then retained more ice than usual during first two weeks of May. Sea Ice Index (SII) was close to MASIE throughout..  The other years, including 2007, were ~300k km2 lower than average.

Region2023135Day 135 Average2023-Ave.20071352023-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere12771477126779039357412431928339549
 (1) Beaufort_Sea1050531104641841131057649-7118
 (2) Chukchi_Sea94394292646417478953491-9549
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea108582210813214501107531410508
 (4) Laptev_Sea8970608810691599182873868322
 (5) Kara_Sea9190278797993922887605342974
 (6) Barents_Sea407569418431-1086235155356016
 (7) Greenland_Sea730714619664111050564865165849
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence9793331076523-971901018780-39447
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago841610839708190283060411006
 (10) Hudson_Bay11530161186552-335361167310-14294
 (11) Central_Arctic3247995322325524740323430513690
 (12) Bering_Sea296036301878-5842298268-2231
 (13) Baltic_Sea61347668-15346368-234
(14) Sea_of_Okhotsk2110271867782424916483346194

The table shows the distribution of ice in the Arctic basins.  The main deficits to average are Baffin and Hudson Bays, more than offset by surpluses in Kara and Greenland Seas. Most other regions are surplus with a few slighlty negative.

Resources:  Climate Compilation II Arctic Sea Ice

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