Global climate change

Arctic sea ice extent and volume update

By Brett Anderson, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
6/27/2018, 1:43:48 PM

Arctic sea ice extent continues to run well below the 1981-2010 average as of late June 2018, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

The green dashed line above shows the sea ice extent trend for 2012, which ended up having the lowest sea ice extent in the Arctic on record.

The map below shows the latest estimated extent/concentration of sea ice in the Arctic. The red line shows where the average extent is for the 1981-2010 period.

The University of Washington's Polar Science Center monitors the Arctic sea ice volume, which is actually a better measurement of the overall "health" of the sea ice.

As you can see, the long-term trend in sea ice volume is steadily downward, with the normal up and downs over short time periods.

The image below shows the estimated Arctic sea ice extent anomaly. We can see that the sea ice is thicker than normal off the Russian coast but mostly below normal elsewhere.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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Global climate change