Arctic ice reaches lowest recorded extent
The extent of Arctic sea ice, with reached its 2018 lowest extent on 23 September and again on 23 September, has tied with 2008 and 2010 for the sixth lowest summertime minimum extent in the satellite record.
This is the conclusion from satellite data by NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder, which showed that, at 1,77-million square miles (4,59-million square kilometres), 2018 effectively tied with.
Arctic sea ice, the cap of frozen seawater blanketing most of the Arctic Ocean and neighbouring seas in wintertime, follows seasonal patterns of growth and decay. It thickens and spreads during the fall and winter and thins and shrinks during the spring and summer.
But in the past decades, increasing temperatures have led to prominent decreases in the Arctic sea ice extents, with particularly rapid decreases in the minimum summertime extent.
The shrinking of the Arctic sea ice cover can ultimately affect the planet’s weather patterns and the circulation of the oceans.