Unusual early ice loss in the Bering Sea

March 9th, 2019 |

GCOM-W2 AMSR2 Sea Ice Concentration, 01 February - 09 March 2019 [click to play animation | MP4]

GCOM-W1 AMSR2 Sea Ice Concentration, 01 February – 09 March 2019 [click to play animation | MP4]

A persistent northward transport of anomalously-warm air across the Bering Sea during the month of February 2019 led to an unusual loss of sea ice there — daily images of GCOM-W1 AMSR2 Sea Ice Concentration (source) from 01 February to 09 March (above) showed the northward retreat of ice from the Bering Sea into the Chukchi Sea. The ice reached its maximum northward extent on 04 March; northward ice motion was very pronounced during the 25-26 February and 27-28 February periods. In early March a synoptic pattern change then allowed cold arctic air to flow back toward the south, helping the ice concentration to begin increasing again in the northern portion of the Bering Sea.

Minimal cloudiness on 28 February allowed the northward flow of ice through the Bering Strait to be seen on GOES-17 (GOES-West) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (below).

GOES-17

GOES-17 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]



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