Global climate change

Record low global sea ice extent for January

By Brett Anderson, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
2/07/2018, 1:44:51 PM

The National Snow and Ice Data Center just released their sea ice extent data for the month of January, and according to the results, it looks like a new record low sea ice extent for the month of January.

In the north, Arctic sea ice extent was the lowest in the satellite record for the month of January last month, beating out January 2017. The satellite measured records go back to 1979.

Image courtesy the NSIDC.

In the south, Antarctic sea ice extent was the second lowest on record for the month of January.

When combined, the NSIDC determined that the global sea ice extent was the lowest on record for the month of January.

Sea Ice volume and thickness

The image below shows the latest estimate of Arctic sea ice volume from The Polar Science Center (UW). Sea ice volume and thickness are actually better indicators of the overall health of sea ice.

As you can see from the image above, Arctic sea ice volume has been in a steady decline since the early 1990s.

In terms of January 2018 Arctic sea ice thickness, The Polar Science Center image below shows below-normal sea ice thickness for most of the region from near Greenland to Alaska, while above-normal thickness dominated north of Siberia.

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


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Global climate change