KNBA - KBC

Beaufort Sea

Sea ice a long ways off from Western Alaska

Nov 4, 2019

With a poor start for ice forming in northern Alaska waters this season, the latest climate forecasts predict sea ice may not reach Western Alaska until December.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is considering designating some 35,000 square miles of ocean in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas as special habitat for ringed seals, which are the main prey of polar bears. The seals were declared threatened in 2012 due to the loss of sea ice from climate warming. Ringed seals use sea ice for breeding and molting.