Some Refreeze Seen in Arctic, Still Too Early to Call End to Record Melt Season

As the Arctic melt season draws to a close, an intensifying battle between melt and freezing can cause values to push higher one day and then lower the next. This appears to be what is happening. Sea ice area showed some refreeze today with Cryosphere today about 40,000 square kilometers above the record low set yesterday. Sea ice extent as measured by JAXA saw both a data revision and a bit of re-freeze push numbers 100,000 square kilometers higher than the previous day.

Since data is preliminary, these revisions can and do happen. The JAXA revision will also change the current record low established by that agency.

NSIDC, on the other hand, after showing a slight re-freeze over the past few days has again pushed down below 3.5 million square kilometers of sea ice extent. So it appears we have some disagreement in the various sea ice monitors which is pretty typical for this time of year.

Looking at the sea ice, we can see expansion in the regions north of Alaska while sea ice still appears to be receding in the Arctic Ocean north of Siberia. Some areas of the Canadian Archipelago are still seeing melt as well.

Weather conditions appear to be favoring refreeze but, as mentioned in previous posts, this year has tended to buck trends. That said, the current bump in both area and extent in some sea ice monitors seem to show a response to this weather pattern. In any case, until a trend establishes itself, it is still too early to call an end to this year’s record and anomalous melt.


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