Arctic Sea Ice Lowest in Satellite Era

Press Release
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Arctic Sea Ice Graph: Image courtesy of NSIDC

National Snow & Ice Data Center reports ice appears to have broken the 2007 record daily extent.

With two to three more weeks left in the melt season, sea ice continues to track below 2007 daily extents.

Arctic sea ice extent fell to 4.10 million square kilometers (1.58 million square miles) on August 26, 2012. This was 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 square miles) below the September 18, 2007 daily extent of 4.17 million square kilometers (1.61 million square miles).
Including this year, the six lowest ice extents in the satellite record have occurred in the last six years (2007 to 2012).

After tracking near 2007 levels through July, the extent declined rapidly in early August. Since then, the loss rate has slowed some, averaging about 75,000 square kilometers (29,000 square miles) per day—equivalent to the size of the state of South Carolina. However, this is still much faster than the normal rate at this time of year of about 40,000 square kilometers per day (15,000 square miles).

 


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