Bering Sea ice was still surrounding St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs as late as Thursday last week, the record 103rd day of such conditions there for the season, says the weather service. But the Arctic in general had well-below-average ice last winter, reports Our Amazing Planet.
The record [Bering Sea] ice numbers were fueled by two main factors: low temperatures and strong winds from the north.
Persistent winds pushed ice from the Arctic Ocean down toward the Bering Strait, which acted as a temporary dam, trapping the sea ice in a bottleneck.
The sea ice continued to pile up, and the icy barrier eventually collapsed, allowing the trapped ice to surge southward into the Bering Sea.