Sunrise over sea ice near the North Pole. Credit: NASA/James Yungel

The daily average ice growth rate of 19,400 square kilometers (7,500 square miles) was near the long term. And average of 20,200 square kilometers (7,800 square miles). Ice growth during February primarily occurred in the Barents Sea and in the Sea of Okhotsk.

Therefore some ice growth was also observed in the Labrador Sea. Recent years have seen reduced ice coverage in the northern Barents Sea related to “Atlantification”—a greater influence of warm waters brought in from the Atlantic (see previous post). Sea ice extent toward the end of February 2019, however, was much closer to average in this region. By sharp contrast, sea ice extent drastically retreated in the Bering Sea in February and continues to as of this post.

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