Unusually low ice concentration in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea

September 13th, 2022 |

Suomi-NPP VIIRS Visible images [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

A sequence of Suomi-NPP VIIRS Visible images (above) showed a large area of ice-free water in the western Beaufort Sea and eastern Chukchi Sea north of Alaska — with limited sea ice concentration as far north as 80º N latitude — on 13 September 2022.  

False Color RGB images from NOAA-20 and Suomi-NPP, viewed using RealEarth (below) provided another depiction of the large ice-free region the Beaufort Sea (as well as adjacent portions of the Chukchi Sea).

False Color RGB images from NOAA-20 and Suomi-NPP [click to play animated GIF]

 Sea Ice Concentration (based on the NOAA Enterprise Algorithm) at 0000 UTC on 13 September (below) also showed limited ice coverage and concentration extending past 80º N latitude.

Sea Ice Concentration at 0000 UTC on 13 September [click to enlarge]

According to Rick Thoman (University of Alaska, Fairbanks), Beaufort Sea ice extent was the 9th lowest on record for this date: