An analysis of the Sea Ice Concentration (SIC), Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and winds in Research Blocks (RBs) 48.6_5 and 48.6_4 is presented. The SIC in RB5 between mid Feb. and end Mar. 2022 were the lowest for the 2019-2022 period. RB4 was free of ice (SIC 0%) in Jan. and Feb. 2022.
A decreasing trend in SST spikes in both RB4 and RB5 turned to an increase in 2022 which indicates that the cooling phase of a 5-6 year periodical cycles might have changed to a warming phase that corresponds with a decreasing trend in SICs. In 2022, both of the contour lines (-1.8°C and -0.8°C) in the eastern part (around RB4) remained further south than 2021, which indicate higher SSTs in 2022 than in 2021 that is related with the lower SICs in RB4.
Warmer southward winds in Feb. 2022 could contribute to the fast ice melting while weaker eastward winds in Feb. could reinforce the off-shore Ekman transport which resulted in late ice retrieval in Feb. - Mar. 2022.