Mid May 2021 Persistent Arctic Ice

Science Matters

ArcDay135 2007 to 2021


Typically in climate observations, averages are referenced without paying attention to the high degree of component variability from year to year, and over longer time periods.  Mid May is when the Spring melt is well underway, but with the Arctic core still frozen solid.  Yet the animation above shows on day 135 over the last 15 years, there are considerable differences as to how much ice is in which regions. 

On the bottom left is Bering Sea which had ice extents on this day ranging from a high of 682k km2 (2012) to a low of 38k km2 (2018).  The day 135 average for Bering is 293k km2, but with a standard deviation of 192k (65%).  Okhotsk center left is the next most variable, from 290k (2012) to 99k (2019), averaging 188k with std. deviation of 63K (33%).  Barents Sea center top has a large variability from 568k km2…

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