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New Paper: West Arctic Sea Ice ‘Relatively Stable’ Since 1800s…Much Less Ice Coverage During The 1600s

By Kenneth Richard

A new 800-year reconstruction of Western Arctic Ocean sea ice variability (Porter et al., 2019) indicates the recent centuries (and decades) of sea ice coverage are the most extensive of the period, with no significant net change in the last 200 years.

There was no ice cover in the Western Arctic for about 2 to 5 months of the year during the Little Ice Age (1500s-1700s C.E.).

Since 1800, the Western Arctic has only been free of ice cover for less than 1 month of the year.

Image Source: Porter et al., 2019

The study region in the Western Arctic was warmer than recent decades during the 1930s according to data from temperature stations.

Image Source: Porter et al., 2019