CAFE VERD
 ABOUT US  THE BAR  CAFE NEXO   COFFEEHOUSE   CAFE VERD   ALL NATIONS 
 CHIEFY'S WORD 

Arctic Ice

A Climate Science Anthem

Share This:

Click images for larger versions in new windows.new window
Sea Ice Daily Extent    Sea Ice Extent Time Series

For interactive graphs, go to
Cryosphere

For the latest update on Arctic sea ice extent go to:
Arctic Sea Ice News


In the Southern Ocean, the ice cover continues to shrink to almost nothing each February, but the winter maximum sea ice extent has been increasing for various reasons, reaching record levels. The ice sheet on Antarctica itself is losing mass faster than the sea ice is increasing, so total Antarctic ice mass, land and sea, continues to decrease.

Antarctic Sea Ice
Winter view of Antarctica from space

The images below indicate summer Arctic ice volume on June 12, July 28, and September 12 (six-week intervals), from the present back to 2005. Red is the thickest; purple represents thin ice, one meter or less. The Arctic experienced a record minimum ice cover in September of 2012, in both extent and volume, beating the previous record of 2007. (Click for larger images in new windows.)new window

2016: June 12, July 28, and September 12
June 12, 2016 July 28, 2016 July 28, 2016

Notice below how the thinner ice (blue and purple) rapidly melts away each year until the minimum in September. 2016's minimum ice extent came in second to the record low in 2012. Meanwhile, maximum Arctic sea ice reached a record low annual extent on February 25, 2015, which was promptly broken in February 2016. Ice extent in November 2016 are at record low levels for this time of year.

2015: June 12, July 28, and September 12
June 12, 2015 July 28, 2015 September 12, 2015

2014: June 12, July 28, and September 12
June 12, 2014 July 28, 2014 September 12, 2014

2013: June 12, July 28, and September 12
June 12, 2013 July 28, 2013 September 12, 2013

2012: June 12, July 28, and September 12
June 12, 2012 July 28, 2012 September 12, 2012

2011: June 12, July 28, and September 12
June 12, 2011 July 28, 2011 September 12, 2011

2010: June 12, July 28, and September 12
June 12, 2010 July 28, 2010 September 12, 2010

2009: June 12, July 28, and September 12
June 12, 2009 July 28, 2009 September 12, 2009

2008: June 12, July 28, and September 12
June 12, 2008 July 28, 2008 September 12, 2008

2007: June 12, July 28, and September 12
June 12, 2007 July 28, 2007 September 12, 2007

2006: June 12, July 28, and September 12
June 12, 2006 July 28, 2006 September 12, 2006

2005: June 12, July 28, and September 12
June 12, 2005 July 28, 2005 September 12, 2005

The ice extent may recover somewhat next year, as we are moving from El Niño conditions to La Niña. Still, it is likely that by 2020, Septembers in the Arctic will be essentially ice-free. There is a nasty positive feedback: when there is less ice covering the water, there is more open sea to retain heat from sunlight. That melts more ice, warming the water further. By the end of the century, the Arctic Ocean may well be ice-free throughout the year, which will cause much more serious disruptions in weather patterns than we are already experiencing. We need to take action to reduce emissions quickly, if we want a world that humans are able to inhabit.


Arctic temperatures, July 2015

Arctic temperatures, July 31, 2015.
Click image for current Arctic temperature forcast.

More images and current animations are available at Polar Portal.

Please comment at Chiefy's Word/Sea Ice and Climate
or Chiefy's Word/Environment archives. Thanks!


Creative Commons License
Cafe Nexo by Chiefy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Cafe Nexo. Established 2010.