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Ice - Sea Ice

Sea Ice | North Pole Observations | Glaciers | Snow Cover

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) based on the period 1980-2000. 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.

Time series of sea ice extent trend for Northern Hemisphere Sea ice extent in September 2013 Sea ice extent in September 2012

 

Sea ice extent in September 2011 Sea ice extent in September 2010 Sea ice extent in September 2009 Sea ice extent in September 2008


Sea ice extent in September 2007 Sea ice extent in September 2006 Sea ice extent in September 2005 Sea ice extent in September 2002

Sea Ice motion over Arctic Basin animation
Click image to animate.
Read more about the animation.

Sea Ice motion over the Arctic Basin. Click image to animate.

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.


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