Sea ice in eastern Hudson Bay (bright white in the map below) is more concentrated than at this time last year and similar to the ice found in the Central Canadian Arctic.
There is more concentrated ice (10/10 concentration) in the east side of the Bay than there was in 1992, a heavy ice year blamed in part on the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo (Chambellant et al. 2012) that resulted in the latest breakup date for Western Hudson Bay since 1991.
Same time, last year – no bright white (10/10 concentration) in eastern Hudson Bay, according to the Canadian Ice Service:
1992 vs. 2015 at 2 April [11 April not available for 2015] (from Cryosphere Today):
Compare this year to 1999 at 2 April: 1999 had the earliest breakup in Western Hudson Bay since 1991:
And how about 2004 compared to this year? Breakup in Western Hudson Bay was relatively late in 2004:
Could this large patch of concentrated ice in eastern Hudson Bay this spring portend a relatively late breakup date for Western Hudson Bay this summer – or at least an average (~ July 1st) breakup date for the fourth year in a row?
Time will tell.
Chambellant, M., Stirling, I., Gough, W.A. and Ferguson, S.H. 2012. Temporal variations in Hudson Bay ringed seal (Phoca hispida) life-history parameters in relation to environment. Journal of Mammalogy 93:267-281.
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