Arctic Sea Ice Anomaly Continues Record Plunge

Sea ice area anomaly fell to a new record low today as Arctic refreeze continued to lag normal seasonal refreeze. Today Arctic sea ice anomaly was 2,709,000 square kilometers below the 1979-2008 average. Today’s anomaly broke the record set yesterday by 4,000 square kilometers. Based on the current, somewhat slow, rate of refreeze, it appears possible that new record low anomalies will be set over the coming days.

A high amount of latent heat in the Arctic appears to be fueling this phenomena. Temperatures range from 10-20 degrees Celsius above normal over a broad area. And, so far, refreeze has been slow to catch up to even the record low values set in 2007. However, with all this said, some extent measurements (a measurement that doesn’t include gaps behind the ice edge), are beginning to approach the extent measurements from 2007. What this shows is that the ice edge is advancing fast enough to begin to make up gains, but large holes remain behind the ice edge, showing that some of the refreeze is superficial and that record lows still hold in the region.

Current rates of refreeze coupled with high Arctic temperatures would seem to point toward record or near record low ice area and extent for much of the remainder of this fall.


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