Arctic sea ice extent has been tracking near record low levels much of the summer.
Melting slowed down during second half of the month
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Arctic sea continued to track at or near record low levels throughout July, as an early start to the melt season led to large areas of open water that speed up melting in adjacent ice areas.
As of July 23, satellite images showed areas of low sea ice concentration in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, the Canadian Archipelago, the East Greenland Sea, and north of Siberia. In the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, according to the latest update from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
During the first half of July, sea ice reached record-low levels numerous times, but melting slowed slightly during the second half of the month as storm systems brought cooler air to the region.
Large areas of open water (called polynyas) are being reported around areas of multiyear sea ice. Low ice concentrations mean a low surface albedo, allowing for more of the sun’s energy to be absorbed, melting even more sea ice. This makes the multiyear ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas vulnerable to melting out this summer, according to the NSIDC.
In parts of the Barents, Kara and Laptev seas, open water extends as far north as typically seen during September, at the end of the summer melt season. Sea ice extent is near normal in the Chukchi Sea and slightly above normal in the East Greenland Sea.
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, seasons | Tagged: Arctic, Arctic sea ice, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, climate, global warming, National Snow & Ice Data Center | Leave a comment »