Here's a quick update on everything related to our good friend Max.
In the past couple of days organisations like the NSIDC, NASA and NOAA have announced the annual event of the Arctic sea ice pack reaching its largest size at the end of the freezing season. This has been picked up widely by the (online) media, probably more so because it's the lowest maximum on several records, and possibly the earliest, by a large margin.
NASA has put up a very nice, concise video explaining the whole thing:
Almost 50,000 views! Great stuff.
Of course, the max is called with a caveat:
Arctic sea ice extent appeared to have reached its annual maximum extent, marking the beginning of the sea ice melt season. This year’s maximum extent not only occurred early; it is also the lowest in the satellite record. However, a late season surge in ice growth is still possible.
I referred to this possibility 5 days ago in the Early record, late record blog post. Since then JAXA SIE has continued to drop, increasing the difference with the preliminary maximum. However, the last two days JAXA reported a total increase of 99 thousand km2, reducing the difference to 137 thousand km2. Here's a quick overview, using the Wipneus home brew AMSR2 regional SIE graphs (see this map for orientation), to see what happened where.
As expected, the Bering and Barents show an uptick in recent days (black and purple trend lines):