Off to a Low Start
Monthly sea-ice extent averaged 13.5 million sq km, which is 7.5% below the 1981-2010 average and 0.5% below the record extent, set in 2011. By way of comparison, the January 2015 extent, measuring 13.6 million sq km, was the third-lowest extent at the time. Ice coverage, according to the NSDIC, was unusually low in the Barents Sea, Kara Sea and the East Greenland Sea on the Atlantic side, and below average conditions in the Bering Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk and the Gulf of St Lawrence. Conditions were near average in Baffin Bay, the Labrador Sea and Hudson Bay.