Arctic Building Ice Inventory Mid January

Science Matters

At this point in the Arctic refreezing phase, LIFO inventory accounting comes into play.  Last-In, First-out is one accepted way to price the value of a company’s inventory.  For Arctic ice, it means that basins that are last to freeze over in winter are the first to melt out in the summer.  For example, in Mid January 2021, total NH ice extent is 91% of last March maximum, so most basins have long been covered with ice.  The last 9% will be added in four places (present % of max is noted):

Bering Sea        62%
Okhotsk Sea     70%
Barents Sea      58%
Baffin Bay         66%

In the Pacific animation above, Bering on the right adds ice extent from 261k km2 to 513k km2 since Jan. 1, while Okhotsk goes from 500k km2 to 800k km2.  Together they will likely add ~650k km2…

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