If last year was characterized by holes in the middle of the ice pack, this year is the year of rotten ice. A term I like even better is Slush Puppie, because it's ice that's not only very fragile, but keeps getting churned around as well. This ice is becoming a more and more dominant factor when it comes to setting records. Can it spread out and hold out long enough until the sun goes down and freezing temperatures end the melting season (like it did last year)? Or will it suddenly just fall apart and disappear?
On the LANCE-MODIS satellite images we can see that large areas at the edge of the ice pack are covered with this weak ice, especially in the East Siberian, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. But as clouds don't allow me to make a decent animation, I've returned yet again to the University of Bremen's excellent archive of sea ice concentration maps.
Do not be distracted too much by the rapidly changing colours, and instead concentrate on the edges of the ice pack or focus on one point. Also check out how the warm water from the Laptev Sea is eating its way into the pack:
I will try and update this animation on a daily basis. Don't forget: you have easy access to this and all other animations by clicking on Animations in the upper menu bar.
Update September 8th: Added images from the previous 2 days. Some of the ice in the Laptev Bite has re-appeared, as it is being pushed together again.
Update September 6th: Added images from the previous 3 days (and removed a couple). There was some more flash melting in the Laptev Bite.
Update September 2nd: Added images from the previous 3 days. The ice is still slowly disappearing.
Update August 31st: Added yesterday's image. More ice vanishing.
Update August 30th: Added images from the previous two days. Some of that ice on the Pacific side is disappearing again.
Update August 28th: Deleted a couple of images (up to the 20th) and added a couple of images. Some of the 'melted' ice seems to be flashing back to life.
Update August 23rd: Added yesterday's image. More flash melting in the Beaufort sea. Could be a fluke. See this post.
Update August 22nd: Added yesterday's image. Lot of flash melting in the Beaufort sea, apparently.
Update August 21st: Added yesterday's image.