Arctic Sea Ice Extent Falls Below 4 Million Square Kilometers For First Time


Today sea ice extent continued its inexorable push into record territory. According to the Japanese Space Agency’s sea ice monitor, Arctic sea ice reached a new record low today and for the first time dipped below 4 million square kilometers.

The observation showed 3,947,500 square kilometers. This level is about 50,000 square kilometers below yesterday’s value and about 300,000 square kilometers below the record low set in 2007.

Arctic sea ice has retreated drastically this year. You can take a look at the most recent observation by JAXA here:

The Cryosphere Today site appears to be down today. But yesterday’s measure was also in record low territory at 2,643,000 square kilometers for sea ice area. A good reference for this size is the land area of Greenland itself, which is 2.1 million square kilometers.

NSIDC published a report on this year’s historic decline yesterday. You can view the report here. Currently, NSIDC is also showing continuing declines for sea ice extent. Based on the latest observation, NSIDC’s extent measure is also approaching the historic 4 million square kilometer mark.


The most recent graph for sea ice area from the Cryosphere Today website has finally published. It shows sea ice area continuing its rapid decline. The area measurement for today shows 2,594,000 square kilometers of sea ice remaining. This is 49,000 square kilometers below yesterday’s measurement and 296,000 square kilometers below the record low set in 2011.


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