Research and Application News
Arctic sea ice at minimum extent for 2018
27 September 2018
Arctic sea ice has likely reached its minimum extent for the year, at 4.59 million square kilometers (1.77 million square miles) on 19 and 23 September, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder. The 2018 minimum ties with 2008 and 2010 as the sixth lowest in the nearly 40-year satellite record. 23 September is the latest day in the year the Arctic sea minimum has occurred in the satellite record—observed this year and in 1997.
Please note that the Arctic sea ice extent number is preliminary — changing winds could still push the ice extent lower. NSIDC will issue a formal announcement at the beginning of October with full analysis of the possible causes behind this year's ice conditions, interesting aspects of the melt season, the set up going into the winter growth season ahead, and graphics comparing this year to the long-term record.
Image credit: NASA - This NASA Blue Marble image shows Arctic sea ice on 23 September, 2018, when sea ice reached its minimum extent for the year.