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Arctic Ice Watch
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PS_RalphW



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 5200
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been a while since I updated on the ice condition. Late winter tends to be quietest time of year, with just slow growth round the edges of the ice pack and the wind pushing the ice around a bit as sun slowly peeks over the horizon. The last couple of weeks have been like that, with high pressure and temperatures that were nearly normal for the winter. Extent even briefly dropped to third lowest for the date, but is now back to lowest where it has spent most of the year so far. Wind has been significant, as winter storms have pushed a lot of the remaining multiyear ice out of the Fram strait and into warm waters where it will rapidly melt out. Normally the north of Greenland is one solid block and immune to this in winter, but this year it has remained fractured even here and has been pushed south, being replaced with new ice which will only be a few months old come the summer.

The winter maximum extent can occur at any time March, and is really a matter of the weather than the state of the ice overall. There is a good chance that this maximum will be a record low, and may even have already passed. Ice volume is at record low by a comfortable margin.

Antarctic ice remains at record lows as it has been all year. The minimum extent fell to smidge over 2M sq Km, and id still there, two weeks after the refreeze usually starts.

Ice shelves keep breaking off large icebergs. The one with the British research base on it is about to calve a berg one third the size of Wales.
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Pepperman



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 747

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS_RalphW wrote:
Antarctic ice remains at record lows as it has been all year. The minimum extent fell to smidge over 2M sq Km, and id still there, two weeks after the refreeze usually starts.

Ice shelves keep breaking off large icebergs. The one with the British research base on it is about to calve a berg one third the size of Wales.


The minimum this year is 10% below the previous record minimum apparently:

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/antarctic-sea-ice-obliterates-previous-minimum-record-in-remarkable-reverse-20170227-gumt5r.html
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Automaton



Joined: 22 Jan 2016
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice summary PS_RalphW, thanks.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 4112
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The status on the Canadian side of Greenland.
http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/prods/WIS55SD/20170220180000_WIS55SD_0009328528.pdf
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PS_RalphW



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 5200
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With warmer air returning to the arctic it seems we have passed the winter maximum extent, at a record low of just under 14 M sq miles.

The antarctic ice extent remains at record lows, and the increased open water over the summer has heated the water and is delaying the start of refreeze significantly for the first time. This effect has been seen for several years in the arctic already.

We may be seeing the beginning of significant sea ice melt in the antarctic as well.
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