Recovery in Arctic sea ice continues
Arctic sea ice has staged a strong recovery in the last few weeks, reaching levels not far from normal for this time of the year.
The rise is all the more impressive, since February saw the 5th lowest ice extent since satellite records began in 1979, and until recently ice extent has been hovering close to record low levels.
Interestingly Antarctica sea ice extent is currently slightly above average, as it has been for some time.
Levels of Arctic sea ice are not just dependent on temperature levels, but local weather conditions play a huge part too.
The much publicised 2007 minimum Arctic ice level was in large part due to the prevailing wind, which blew more ice into the Atlantic - as opposed to anything directly linked to global temperatures, as widely reported in the media at the time.
Arctic weather systems are highly variable and prevailing winds can enhance, or oppose, the flow of ice into the Atlantic. Indeed the increase in ice extent this month has coincided with a change in wind direction which seems to have spread out ice cover.
It's too early to say whether this recovery will translate into higher levels of spring and summer Arctic ice compared with recent years, but scientists will be watching data closely in the coming days and weeks.
Follow me on twitter @Hudsonweather