Publication Date September 15, 2016

Despite cool summer, sea ice ends near record low

Scientists expect that even average summer conditions may now result in “dramatic” sea-ice reductions. Image: NSIDC

Despite not setting a record low, this year’s annual sea-ice minimum continued a worrying trend that now has seen the 10 lowest extents all occurring in the past ten years...

After setting a second consecutive record in March for the lowest annual maximum extent, it was expected the summer minimum would be close to the 2012 record. However, a summer that was “stormy, cloudy and fairly cool” likely prevented that from happening, said Mark Serreze, the director of NSIDC...

In addition to a lower starting point for ice as it enters the winter season, expanding until March, scientists note that what ice does form will likely be thinner ice, making it more susceptible to breaking up