"The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. NSIDC scientists provide Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis content, with partial support from NASA. This September, sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean fell to the lowest extent in the satellite record, which began in 1979. Satellite data analyzed by NSIDC scientists showed that the sea ice cover reached its lowest extent on September 16. Sea ice extent averaged for the month of September was also the lowest in the satellite record."
- For a full analysis of the summer melt season and additional images, please see Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis.
- An NSIDC animation of the Arctic melt season is available
- An NSIDC animation of the Antarctic melt season is available
- For more information and visualizations of thinning sea ice, see the NOAA Climate Watch article, Arctic Sea Ice Getting Thinner, Younger.
- The near-record ice melt occurred without the unusual weather conditions that contributed to the extreme melt of 2007. In 2007, winds and weather patterns helped melt large expanses of ice. "Atmospheric and oceanic conditions were not as conducive to ice loss this year, but the melt still reached a new record low," said NSIDC scientist Walt Meier. "This probably reflects loss of multi-year ice in the Arctic, as well as other factors that are making the ice more vulnerable." Multi-year ice is ice that has survived more than one melt season and is thicker than first-year ice.
- Related postings on climate change and Extreme Ice Survey: 2005 to present [via Andrew F. Young]