Global climate change

Update on Arctic sea ice extent and volume

By Brett Anderson, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
10/03/2018, 2:09:38 PM

Arctic sea ice reached its annual minimum extent on Sept. 19 and 23, which is about five to nine days later than the 1981-2010 average.

The latest Arctic sea ice extent for 2018. The dashed line shows the 2012 extent, which had the lowest annual minimum on record. Image courtesy the NSIDC.

The 2018 annual sea ice minimum in the Arctic was tied for sixth lowest in the satellite record, which goes back to 1979.

The top ten lowest ice extents on record all occurred since 2007.

Below is the top ten lowest Arctic sea ice extent years in the satellite record, starting with 2012, which which had the lowest extent.........

1. 2012
2. 2007 and 2016
4. 2011
5. 2015
6. 2008, 2010 and 2018
9. 2017
10. 2014 and 2013

There are ongoing studies that indicate a potential link between sea ice cover loss in the Arctic and extreme/persistent weather in the mid-latitudes. Here is a recent interview of Dr. Jennifer Francis by the Academic Minute.


Arctic sea ice volume

The latest graph from the Polar Science Center (Univ. of Washington) continues to show a clear downward trend in estimated Arctic sea ice volume.

NASA recently released a video recapping the 2018 Arctic sea ice growth season. Video courtesy NASA and YouTube.

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


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Global climate change