Blue alert for sea ice off northern China

A unit of China’s State Oceanic Administration (SOA) issued a blue alert for sea ice in a key port area in north China, potentially disrupting commodities shipments.

Sea ice in Liaodong Bay, the northern arm of China’s Bohai Sea, now extends 67 nm from the shore, the North China Sea Marine Forecasting Centre said Friday morning local time January 26th. Ice also extended 18 nm out in the northern part of the Yellow Sea.

A blue alert, called when the sea ice stretches out more than 60 nm, is the lowest tier on China’s four-colour alert system for severe weather.

The SOA said that sea ice in the area it was monitoring covered around 23,482 sq km.

It added that investigative teams had been sent to the regional port cities of Panjin, Jinzhou, Yingkou and Dalian to assess any possible damage. Dalian port is a key inlet for China’s imports of coal, coking coal, iron ore and alumina. “In the next three days, the icy conditions in Bohai Bay and the northern Yellow Sea will develop significantly,” the SOA said, warning of colder weather and big waves much further south near Hainan island, the Taiwan Strait, and the coasts of Fujian and Zhejiang.