Arctic Ice Abounds at 2021 Minimum

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Science Matters

The images above come from MASIE showing ice extents on day 260, the lowest daily extent on average the last 14 years.  Note that 2012 was the lowest in this period and 2021 is now the highest, surpassing 2014. The abundance of ice this year contrasts with both 2007 and 2020. Clearly, the location of remaining ice in September varies greatly from year to year.  The marginal seas are open water, including the Pacific basins, Canadian Bays (Hudson and Baffin), and the Atlantic basins for the most part.  As discussed later on, other regions retain considerable ice at the annual minimum, with differences year to year.

The annual competition between ice and water in the Arctic ocean is now at the maximum for water, which typically occurs mid September.  After that, diminishing energy from the slowly setting sun allows oceanic cooling causing ice to regenerate. Those interested in the dynamics…

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