Sep 19, 2012

Arctic sea ice reaches lowest extent for the year and the satellite record

Arctic
by
NSIDC
,
National Snow and Ice Data Center
Arctic sea ice from a recent Operation IceBridge aerial survey. Photo: NASA
Arctic sea ice from a recent Operation IceBridge aerial survey. Photo: NASA

Arctic sea ice cover melted to its minimum extent for the year on September 16, 2012, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Sea ice extent fell to 3.41 million square kilometers (1.32 million square miles), which was, at the time, the lowest summer minimum extent in the satellite record...

This year's minimum follows a record-breaking summer of low sea ice extents in the Arctic...

Arctic sea ice has long been recognized as a sensitive climate indicator, and climate models suggest that ice-free conditions may occur before 2050