Happy early spring. This is the time of year that Arctic sea ice often reaches its greatest size, freezing over the vast northern ocean. But in 2019, this ice cover — called the maximum ice extent — is meager, particularly in the usually ice-clad Bering Sea.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a comparison of Bering and Chukchi sea ice in 2014 (a normal year) versus the maximum sea ice extent this year. As you can see, where there is supposed to be ice, there is a great open ocean — months ahead of schedule.
It’s the lowest sea ice extent on record for the Bering Sea.
Maximum sea ice extent in 2014.More
Maximum sea ice extent in 2019.More