Publication Date February 5, 2016

High Arctic temperatures drive sea ice to record low

In both maps, the purple is indicative of the cold air of the polar vortex. Image: NOAA

Record warm Arctic air temperatures running an astonishing 11 degrees F above average at the surface helped drive sea ice to a record low in January.

A significant part of the 402,000-square-mile deficit came from unusually low ice coverage in the Barents Sea, including off the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard