Sea Ice | North
Pole Observations | Glaciers | Snow
For additional information about Arctic Sea Ice, see:
The sea ice area for the Arctic shows near-record minimums since 2002. The maps below show the areas for September (shaded) relative to the median extent (purple line). From 2002 - 2012, the median extent was based on the period 1980-2000. From 2013 onward, the median extent was based on the period 1981-2010. The recent years represent a unique event because they show a year-to-year persistence of minimum ice extents (graph below). Sea ice area is now significantly below the level of the 1980s and earlier.
Note: Graphs will be updated soon so that all show a median extent based on the period 1981-2010.
Sea Ice motion over the Arctic Basin. Click image to
Sea ice shows up as various shades of grey and open ocean
as blue. Each image is a snapshot of sea ice cover each day
with the date shown in the lower part of each image.
In general lighter shades of grey are newly formed first year
ice and the dark shades of grey are older multi-year ice. The
motion of large ice floes and the formation leads can be seen
quite well during the winter months.
Provided by Tom Agnew,
Meteorological Service of Canada.
Find more information:
- Serreze, MC, JA Maslanik, TA Scambos, F. Fetterer, J. Stroeve, K.
Knowles, C. Fowler, S. Drobot, RG Barry, and TM Haran (2003), A
record minimum arctic sea ice extent and area in 2002, Geophysical
Research Letters, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp. 10-1, CiteID 1110, DOI 10.1029/2002GL016406.
- Rothrock, D. A., D. B. Percival, and M. Wensnahan (2008), The decline in arctic sea-ice thickness: Separating the spatial,
annual, and interannual variability in a quarter century of submarine data, J. Geophys. Res., 113, C05003,
- Monitoring the
Drift, Thickness and Mass Balance of Arctic Sea Ice - from the Cold
Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory
- The North
Pole Environmental Observatory from the University of Washington
- Sea Ice Index from
the National Snow and Ice Data Center
- Sea Ice Archive
from the Nansen Environmental and Remote
Sensing Center (Johannessen et al., 1999, Science). The sea ice
concentration of total and multi-year ice based on the NORSEX algorithm.
The database is continuously updated and developed.
- The Cryosphere Today - from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- From NOAA/NWS/NCEP Sea Ice Group: