When I wrote the Beaufort under early pressure blog post last month, I didn't quite expect this unprecedented pressure (timing and magnitude) to keep up for so long. High pressure areas tend to be short-lived in the Arctic, but this one was still going strong when the Beaufort quick update was published. Now, almost three weeks later, things still haven't completely calmed down, and this animation of satellite images showing weekly changes from March 30th to May 4th provides an astonishing sight:
Astonishing, mindblowing, frightening even. May is the month when melt ponds start to form on the ice, pools of water that lower the albedo and cause the ice to melt faster, leading to open water that absorbs solar radiation and warms up. The open water is already there in the Beaufort Sea. Look at all that open water!