Update September 6th 2011: Some of the ice that was gone in the preliminary map for September 5th returned in the final version. Below to the right there's a new animation that shows maps for the 4th, the preliminary and the 5th.
Today's preliminary sea ice concentration map from the University of Bremen holds yet another surprise. A large area of low concentration ice has suddenly disappeared in what I refer to as the Laptev Bite, the place where warm waters from the Laptev Sea have been munching their way into the ice pack.
Of course, just as last time, this doesn't mean the ice has totally disappeared. It just doesn't show up on the image because the concentration has gone below the threshold, for whatever reason. And mind you, this is a preliminary map. The definite version might still show a different picture.
Nevertheless, that's quite a bite!
I'm not sure what the reason could be. This time there was only a smallish cyclone passing by, not like that big one from the last flash melting event.
Let's wait and see what happens next.