Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features ice cover in the Bering Sea, which has now reached its greatest extent for the early part of February since 2013.
“By February 13, the sea ice had reached St. Paul in the Pribilof Islands for the first time since March 2020. The ice growth is an outlier amid a long-term decline,” reports NASA.
Global warming is happening at an accelerated rate in the Arctic, and sea ice extent is declining throughout the region. This is true especially in summer, but also year-round, in nearly every region – except the Bering Sea, noted Walt Meier, a sea ice researcher at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).
“The one exception has been the Bering Sea during late winter and early spring (February to April), where there is an increasing trend,” said Meier.
He explained that the reasons for this are not totally understood, but may relate to multidecadal variability in the northern Pacific Ocean. “Even with the winter increasing trend, there is a lot of variability.”
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer