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Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute Shows January Arctic Sea Ice 20 Years Stable!


Winter sea ice in the Arctic was stable over the past 20 years…has even recovered somewhat.

Hat-tip: Klimanachrichten

Arctic sea ice extent as recorded by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven, Germany, looks at the situation in January 2024. [emphasis, links added]

Despite the record temperatures reported, the ice in the Arctic has recovered somewhat.

The slight recovery trend since the Arctic minimum was reached is continuing at the beginning of 2024, with the sea ice extent at the beginning of the year below the average value for the years 1981-2010, but in the lower range of the extreme values (minimum / maximum) of this international climate normal period (Figure 1).

If we look at the new reference period 1991 – 2020 introduced by the World Meteorological Organization in 2021, January 2024 is roughly in line with the mean value of this period (see interactive graphic).

The average Arctic sea ice extent in January was 13.99 million square kilometers, around 400,000 square kilometers greater than the ice cover in January over the last 20 years (Figure 2).

During the month, the extent increased by approximately 29,000 square kilometers per day, which was slower than the average increase from 1981 to 2010.

Image: Screenshot Meereisportal.de

Among highest in the past 20 years

The above chart indeed shows a stable trend over the past two decades. According to the AWI:

This year’s maximum sea ice extent most likely occurred on February 27 at 14.94 million square kilometers. The monthly average ice extent in February was 14.65 million square kilometers.”

That makes it higher than 15 of the past 20 years.

Compared to the long-term average for the years 2003 – 2014, it is noticeable that the sea ice cover in the northern Barents Sea is lower, but the Greenland Sea and the northern Baltic Sea in the Gulf of Bothnia and the coastal zones of the Barents Sea have more extensive sea ice areas. This indicates lower and longer-lasting cold periods in these regions.”

Read more at No Tricks Zone



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