Recent Sea Ice Increase and Temperature Decrease in the Bering Sea area, Alaska

G. Wendler & L. Chen & B. Moore
Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks Alaska 99775

We analyzed the sea ice conditions in the Bering Sea for the time period 1979–2012, for which good data based on microwave satellite imagery, being able to look through clouds and darkness, are available. The Bering Sea, west of Alaska, is ice-free in summer, but each winter, an extensive sea ice cover is established, reaching its maximum normally in March. We found a slight increase in ice area over the time period, which is in stark contrast to the significant retreat observed in the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska and the Arctic Ocean as a whole.

Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Springer