Climate: This year’s maximum Arctic sea ice extent was the 6th-lowest on record

Arctic sea ice has already dipped below the extent measured at this time last year, when the icecap ultimately dwindled to a record low.

Trend of dwindling ice continues unabated

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Arctic sea ice extent peaked in mid-March and is now starting to shrink again, according to researchers with the National Snow and Ice Data center, who said that this year’s maximum extent was the sixth-lowest on record. At 5.84 million square miles, it was 283,000 square miles below the 1979 to 2000 average.

The ten lowest maximums in the satellite record have all occurred in the last ten years, 2004 to 2013.

The NSIDC said it will provide a full update on winter ice conditions in early April, but noted that sea ice extent actually grew more than in any year previously in the satellite record.

“The record growth was primarily a result of the record low minimum last September, leaving a greater extent of ocean surface uncovered in ice to re-freeze this winter,” the NSIDC explained in their latest update, explaining that last September’s record low extent this winter’s record growth suggest an intensified seasonal cycle and illustrates the dominance of first-year ice.


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