Arctic sea ice extent was 10.31 million km² on December 4, 2022. At this time of year, extent was smaller only in two years, i.e. in 2016 and 2020, both strong El Niño years. With the next El Niño, Arctic sea ice extent looks set to reach record lows.
The image below shows high sea surface temperature anomalies near the Bering Strait on December 2, 2022, with a “hot blob” in the North Pacific Ocean where sea surface temperature anomalies are reaching as high as 7°C or 12.6°F from 1981-2011. The Jet Stream is stretched out vertically from pole to pole, enabling hot air to enter the Arctic from the Pacific Ocean and from the Atlantic Ocean.
Given that we’re still in the depth of a persistent La Niña, these currently very high air temperature anomalies indicate that ocean temperatures are very high and that ocean heat is heating up the air over the Arctic.
Accordingly, Arctic sea ice has barely increased in thickness over the past 30 days, as illustrated by the navy.mil animation on the right.
This leaves only a very short time for Arctic sea ice to grow back in thickness before the melting season starts again, which means that there will be little or no latent heat buffer to consume heat when the melting season starts.
…click on the above link to read the rest…