Publication Date May 20, 2016

Arctic sea ice goes far beyond record low extent for May

Extent of Arctic sea ice for each year since 1979. The 2016 values in recent weeks through May 18 are shown as a dashed red line, denoting the provisional state of the data for the last few weeks. NSIDC cautions that “quantitative comparisons with other data should not be done at this time.” Image: NSIDC Charctic Interactive Sea Ice Graph

The sea ice that coats the Arctic Ocean each winter and erodes each summer is going through its most depleted spring since modern observing began. The Danish Meteorological Institute reported the lowest sea ice extent of any April in the Arctic’s 38-year-long satellite record