Third Highest Arctic Sea Ice Extent on 09/02 in the Last 15 Years

February 9, 2020

The Arctic sea ice extent is a mere 1.8% less than the 1979-2019 mean and the third highest in the last 15 years.

Mapped Arctic sea ice extent (SIE) on 09/02/2020 was 14.69 million km2 which is 270,000 km2 or 1.8% less than the 1979-2019 average.  This is largest sea ice extent on this day since 2009 and is within 1 standard deviation of the 1979-2019 mean ice extent.

The average sea ice accumulation rate in the last 5 days is 50,000 km2/day. The January 2020 rate of sea ice accumulation is the eight highest in the last 40 years and sea ice extent, volume and thickness are not expected to peak until mid-March 2020.

Sea Ice Extent

A close up of a map

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MASIE Arctic Sea Ice Extent and SIE Median for the period 1981-2010
Arctic Sea Ice Extent (MASIE Database – see above image) for the month of February for the period 1979-2020 with the 1979-2019 average.

Annual Arctic sea ice extent 2017-2020 and average and +/- 1SD for the 1917 to 2019

The daily sea ice extent data for February for the period of available data from 1979 to 2020 is shown above. The current sea ice extent is well within the 1 SD of the 1979-2019 average and is the highest since 2009. Arctic sea ice extent shows little trend since 2010.

Arctic sea ice extent is not expected to peak until mid-March 2020.

Daily sea ice extent plot for the period 2006 through 2020. Spot the trend!

The extent of Arctic sea ice varies from summer to winter. The sea ice extent shown here relies on data from the Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS) that runs at the National Ice Centre. The IMS product uses several satellite data sources including passive microwave, but it is also based on visual analysis and other data sources and undergoes a form of manual data fusion. The data reported here has a 1 km resolution and was sourced from the National Snow and Ice Data Centre