15 September 2015
Arctic Sea Ice Reaches 4th Lowest Extent on Record
Posted by Dan Satterfield
The summer sea ice melt has ended in the High Arctic, and the ice pack melted back to the 4th lowest extent on the satellite record.
From the Nat. Snow Ice Data Center:
On September 11, 2015, sea ice extent dropped to 4.41 million square kilometers (1.70 million square miles), the fourth lowest minimum in the satellite record. This appears to be the lowest extent of the year. In response to the setting sun and falling temperatures, ice extent will now climb through autumn and winter. However, a shift in wind patterns or a period of late season melt could still push the ice extent lower.
The minimum extent was reached four days earlier than the 1981 to 2010 average minimum date of September 15. The extent ranked behind 2012 (lowest), 2007 (second lowest), and 2011 (third lowest). Moreover, the nine lowest extents in the satellite era have all occurred in the last nine years.