Daily Archives: December 10, 2012

Now that Bering Sea ice cover is high again, variability is normal

Sea ice development in the Bering Sea is trending higher than average again this year, even though it is early in the season. The NSIDC sea ice extent image for Dec 6 2012 below (Fig. 1) shows extensive ice development in the Bering Sea. [courtesy WUWT sea ice reference page]

Seven of the last 10 years have produced above-average freezing in the waters west of Alaska” says Kathleen Cole of the Alaska National Weather Service (Dec. 6, 2012) – see “Featured Quote” #20 in the right column (also filed in the “Quote Archive“).

Fig. 1 National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) sea ice extent at Dec. 6 2012. The orange line is the median extent for this date for 1979-2000.

Figure 1. NSIDC sea ice extent at Dec. 6 2012.
The orange line is the median extent for this date for 1979-2000. Click to enlarge.

The NSIDC, in their report on the annual freeze-up of the Arctic (November 2012), have this to say about the ice in the Bering Sea:

“…ice extent in the Bering Sea by the end of the month was greater than average, continuing a pattern seen in recent years. Extent in the Bering Sea was at record high levels last winter.”
Continue reading