2019 Eastern Bering Sea Ecosystem Status Report: In Brief
The eastern Bering Sea experienced the second year of low sea ice conditions during winter 2018/2019 due to (1) residual heat in the Chukchi Sea in fall of 2018 and (2) anomalous winds from the south in February 2019 causing ice retreat.
The 2018-2019 mean sea ice extent was the second lowest of record (only 2017-2018 was lower).
Over the southern shelf, summer surface and bottom water temperatures increased from 2018 and were significantly warmer than their long-term means. No cold pool (footprint of winter sea ice the following summer) was present over the southern shelf and unprecedentedly warm bottom temperatures occurred in coastal waters. A small cold pool was located over a portion of the northern shelf in summer 2019.