Arctic Sea Ice at Minimum Extent for 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 September 19 and 23, 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. September 23 is also the latest day that the minimum has occurred in a year—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.
NSIDC is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder. The NSIDC Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis is supported in part by NASA.
For more details and images, please see the NSIDC Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis page.
See the NOAA Climate.gov feature.