Given the cold winter east of the Rockies, has Arctic Sea Ice improved?
The pattern in the Arctic underscores the fact that it's the global pattern that must be analyzed, not a single regional pattern. Arctic air temperatures ran 4 to 11 degrees warmer than average, depending upon the exact location, this past winter. Arctic sea ice was at it's fifth lowest annual coverage since 1978...a span of 36 seasons. The percentage of 'old ice' (5 or more years) is only half of what we had just seven years ago. That's a key because old ice is more resistant to melting.