Any Way The Wind Blows

The Arctic ice extent graphs are bouncing around, as Julienne mentioned yesterday. Competing factors of wind compaction and freeze-up cause the extent numbers to vary a little from day to day. There has been a lot of wind over the last couple of days which has compacted the ice and negated the extent gains from new ice formation.

A better measure is ice area, which isn’t as affected by wind compaction.


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8 Responses to Any Way The Wind Blows

  1. Peter Ellis says:

    Not sure what the point of this post was – the area graph is bouncing up and down just like the extent one! Unless you meant to highlight the fact that according to area, we’re neck and neck with 2008 for second lowest of all time, whereas the extent picture is at least marginally more favourable.

    • The area graph isn’t showing any sign of going below the minimum. The extent graph might.

    • Look closer at the JAXA graphs. Extent is almost down to the minimum, while area is well above the minimum and has barely declined. You need to zoom in to see it.

      Area in red extent in green

      • Peter Ellis says:

        Fancy running this one again? Area and extent are both heading down, showing it’s genuine melt and not just compaction. Area is within a day or so of passing 2008, extent also might drop below 2008.

        Main losses are in the Siberian tongue of ice, in latitudes where there’s still quite a bit of sun and comparatively warm SSTs. May well keep going another few days.

        To forestall the “it’s just wind” comment – one of the effects of the wind has been to move the Siberian ice over into warmer waters, where it is *melting*.

  2. AndyW says:

    It’s been a couple of big losses in the last 2 days for extent, surprisingly so, I agree though it must be by compaction, probably from the Russian side.


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