Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Climate Change May 07, 2018 - 10:30 am

Arctic sea ice hits record low in April, ice tracking centre says

Low extent in April in close tie with April 2016

This graph shows the big drop in the April sea ice extent between 1979 and 2018, with an average decline of 2.6 per cent per decade. (IMAGE COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL SNOW AND ICE DATA CENTER)
This graph shows the big drop in the April sea ice extent between 1979 and 2018, with an average decline of 2.6 per cent per decade. (IMAGE COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL SNOW AND ICE DATA CENTER)

Sea ice extent retreated across most of the Arctic last month, except in Hudson Bay and in the Davis Strait.

That decrease means 2018 is roughly tied with 2016 for the lowest April sea ice extent on record, the National Snow and Ice Data Center said on Thursday, May 3.

The Colorado-based data centre, which has tracked sea ice with satellites since 1979, said that last month’s Arctic sea ice extent averaged 13.71 million square kilometres.

That’s 980,000 square kilometres below the 1981 to 2010 average and only 20,000 square kilometres above the record low April extent set in 2016.

Sea ice extent in the Bering Sea remains the lowest recorded since at least 1979, creating many coastal hazards this past winter, the NSIDC said.

Air temperatures in April, at about 760 metres above sea level, reached up to 10 C higher than average, in areas stretching towards the pole.

Air temperatures were also up to 5 C above average within the East Greenland Sea and 3 C above average over Baffin Bay.

Near the pole, there are large patches of first-year ice among the multi-year ice, and only one per cent of the ice cover is five years old or older—also the least amount ever recorded, the NSIDC said.

Also, in February, a large polynya opened north of Greenland, lasting through the first week of March, the NSIDC said.

The polynya was driven in part by strong winds from the south and “unusually high air temperatures,” the centre said.

On Feb. 24, at Cape Morris Jesup, Greenland’s northernmost station, the temperature surged well above freezing, reaching 6.1 C.


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(4) Comments:

#1. Posted by CHICKEN LITTLE on May 07, 2018

You figure , with the long cold winter , we had , it would be thick.

#2. Posted by Frank on May 07, 2018

Even with the cold winter, the ice sets in later in the fall. The ocean currents seem to be getting stronger and warmer, maybe it is melting the ice from below.

#3. Posted by Jim MacDonald on May 09, 2018

It’s spring, when ice melts. If a ten year average of arctic ice total helps, 2018 spring is within the ten year average.

The Bering Sea took the biggest hit of ice loss, while Barents and Okhotsk are coming in above average ice. Hudson Bay is solid.

Solar Sun cycle, a high pressure system over Alaska and a stalled gyre in the Pacific basin are a good cause for the quicker melt in the Bering Sea this year.  That’s strong winds pulling up warm air and warmer water to the area.

But who knows the perfect amount of ice in the arctic?

New York Times…1881: “This past Winter, both inside and outside the Arctic circle, appears to have been unusually mild. The ice is very light and rapidly melting

Today, 2018 a hard push for a carbon tax and massive noisy wind turbines littered all across the arctic. Thus it’s hyperbola time, you must believe the arctic is rapidly melting.

#4. Posted by Ken on May 10, 2018

The new wind turbines make very little noise, much bigger and they move slower than the older smaller wind turbines, in the last ten years they have made great strides and it’s a proven renewable energy to use effectively, some European countries have been using wind turbines and actually have surplus power.

Diesel engines today make more noise than wind turbines, it should be researched further by Nunavut power with the new technology and equipment that is available now.

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