Global climate change

Global sea ice update

By Brett Anderson, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
11/08/2017, 12:52:01 PM

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The National Snow and Ice Data Center recently released their global sea ice data for the month of October.

--Sea ice extent in the Arctic ranked 5th lowest in the satellite measured record for the month of October. Records go back to 1979.

A comparison of this year's Arctic sea ice extent with the previous five years. You can almost say that we have reached a new normal (lower extent) just based on the last five years compared to the 1981-2010 average.

Estimated Arctic sea ice extent as of Nov. 7, 2017. The orange line shows the normal (1981-2010) extent for that particular date.

Latest projected Arctic sea ice volume from PIOMAS. Sea Ice Volume is calculated using the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System.

As you can see, there continues to be a steady decline in Arctic sea ice volume.

Estimated Arctic sea ice thickness anomalies from PIOMAS.

You can also see that sea ice thickness is running below the 1981-2010 average over most of the Arctic, especially on the North American side.

Narrated video shows the gradual loss of older (thicker) sea ice in the Arctic. Video courtesy NASA and YouTube.



By the way, the annual sea ice extent maximum in the Antarctic region for 2017 was the second lowest in the satellite record. It was also the second latest sea ice extent on record.

Antarctic sea ice extent for 2017 (blue line) compared to the 1981-2010 mean and the record high year of 2013.

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Global climate change