The ice-covered area of the Arctic Ocean in 2020 is the largest since 2010. This was facilitated by the strongest polar vortex on record, according to The Weather Channel.
The ice covers 8.6 million square meters. km of the Arctic, which is roughly the size of the United States, Mexico and India combined. The ice cover remains below the climatic average, but its growth is a temporary halt in the melting of sea ice.
A polar vortex is a low pressure cone above the poles. This winter, it has become especially strong due to the temperature difference between the polar regions and the mid-latitudes in which the United States and Europe are located.
A polar vortex occurs in the atmosphere 10-45 km above the ground. When it intensifies, the cold air does not travel far to North America or Europe. It is like a wall: a stronger polar vortex blocks the cold arctic air, preventing it from moving into the middle latitudes.
For most of the 2019-2020 winter, the polar vortex was powerful and was located above the poles, where the coldest air has been trapped for the past few months.
Year-to-year variability with a long-term decline in January #Arctic sea ice volume (bar) and thickness (map). Updated for 2020.
+ Additional graphics:
+ Data information: https://t.co/RxJBUQzkve
- Zack Labe (@ZLabe) February 12, 2020