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Global climate change

May 2019 global sea ice update

By Brett Anderson, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
6/06/2019, 2:02:34 PM

Global sea ice extent was near-record lows for the month of May.

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), much of the Arctic region experienced temperatures that were several degrees above normal for the month of May.

The average sea ice extent in the Arctic for last month was the second lowest for May in the satellite record, which began in 1979. The lowest May sea ice extent on record occurred in 2016.

The NSIDC image below shows the latest Arctic sea ice extent, which continues to run lower than 2012, which was the year with the lowest minimum extent on record.

The estimated sea ice volume in the Arctic is also running well below normal and only currently higher than what was estimated in 2017. Image courtesy PIOMAS.

The situation is not much better in the Antarctic, but the impacts are much less compared to what is going on in the Arctic. Currently, Antarctic sea ice extent is running slightly lower than 2018, which currently holds the record for lowest sea ice extent in the satellite era.


For more information on the sea ice situation, see the NSIDC site.

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


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Global climate change