If you don't mend up a small crack on the wall you end up building the entire wall.

It was never so easy to detect the Beaufort Gyre and its clockwise rotation on satellite images. Whether winter ice is now that thin it can't stand usual weather forces or the weather changed remains to be determined.

Cracks with an irregular stress pattern are common in the Arctic - the floes are constantly moving, but this distinct pattern is visible up to North Pole. Fore sure, weeks after melting starts, we'll see an even more unknown pattern of floes. I expect unusual noisy extent charts, too.

Click the image to zoom into a mostly cloud free and spectacular ...

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See Thick Ice vanishing in the Beaufort Gyre

credit: NOAA

NOAA climate service animation based on the work of James Maslanik, Colorado, showing ice age distribution beginning January 1987 through mid-summer 2011. The Beaufort Gyre no longer fosters multiyear ice, instead it is now a dangerous place for old and thick ice.

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What happened to Sea Ice last Winter?

Since 10 days sea ice extent is falling of the cliff. Over the course of June it showed already little difference to 2010. Now it even starts with steeper decrement compared to 2007 into July. Most likely the extent will drop below 8 Msqkm today or tomorrow.

Most weather models calculate the high pressure system over Arctic Ocean for another week with less power, though. Since the Nares Strait is virtually open, the overall ice drift direction targets the region from there to Fram Strait and Barenst Sea. In short: strong multi-year ice seeks warm Atlantic.

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