This just in from National Snow and Ice Data Center: No Ice In Labrador Sea

map from space showing sea ice extent, continents

Arctic sea ice extent for January 2011 was 13.55 million square kilometers (5.23 million square miles). The magenta line shows the 1979 to 2000 median extent for that month. The black cross indicates the geographic North Pole.

 

Arctic sea ice extent averaged over January 2011 was 13.55 million square kilometers (5.23 million square miles). This was the lowest January ice extent recorded since satellite records began in 1979. It was 50,000 square kilometers (19,300 square miles) below the record low of 13.60 million square kilometers (5.25 million square miles), set in 2006, and 1.27 million square kilometers (490,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average.

Ice extent in January 2011 remained unusually low in Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait (between southern Baffin Island and Labrador), and Davis Strait (between Baffin Island and Greenland). Normally, these areas freeze over by late November, but this year Hudson Bay did not completely freeze over until mid-January. The Labrador Sea remains largely ice-free.

graph with months on x axis and extent on y axis

The graph above shows daily Arctic sea ice extent as of January 31, 2011, along with daily ice extents for previous low-ice-extent years in the month of January. Light blue indicates 2010-2011, green shows 2005-2006 (the record low for the month was in 2006), and dark gray shows the 1979 to 2000 average.

Air temperatures over much of the Arctic were 2 to 6 degrees Celsius (4 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal in January. Over the eastern Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Baffin Bay/Davis Strait and Labrador Sea, temperatures were at least 6 degrees Celsius (11 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than average. Temperatures were near average over the western Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Scandinavia.

As in December 2010, the warm temperatures in January came from two sources: unfrozen areas of the ocean continued to release heat to the atmosphere, and the wind patterns accompanying the negative phase of the Arctic oscillation brought warm air into the Arctic. Near the end of January the negative Arctic oscillation pattern broke down and turned positive, which usually favors ice growth. It is unclear how long it will remain in a positive mode.

monthly graph

Monthly January ice extent for 1979 to 2011 shows a decline of 3.3% per decade.

January 2011 had the lowest ice extent for the month since the beginning of satellite records. The linear rate of decline for the month is –3.3% per decade.

Ice extent for the Arctic as a whole increased at an average of 42,800 square kilometers (16,500 square miles) per day through the month of January, which is about average.

Advertisements

About EarthImage

See http://bit.ly/hDhVLf
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to This just in from National Snow and Ice Data Center: No Ice In Labrador Sea

  1. Jim says:

    So, are you implying the Titanic wouldn’t have had a problem in the Labrador Sea?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s