DATE: October 11, 2018
SNIP: In the deep middle of the remote Arctic Ocean, things are amiss.
With the passage of summer, the ice — diminished by the warm season — is expected to regrow as frigid temperatures envelope the Arctic.
But, this year, it’s not.
Specifically, sea ice in the Central Arctic basin — a massive region of ocean some 4.5 million square kilometers in size — hasn’t started its usual rapid expansion, and unusually warm temperatures in both the air and the ocean are largely to blame.
“For the most part, Arctic sea ice normally begins rapidly refreezing this time of year,” Zack Labe, a climate scientist and Ph.D. candidate at the University of California Irvine, said over email.
In mid-October, the temperatures here should be plummeting. But they’ve gone up.
“Both the ocean and atmosphere are warmer than usual,” said Lars Kaleschke, an Arctic scientist at the University of Hamburg’s Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability.