How Low Can You Go: Record Arctic Sea-Ice Melt Continues

Last week, the press was awash with reports of a new sea ice low in the Arctic. The previous low ever recorded was 4.17 million square kilometers of ice, and in late August, the sea ice extent as measured by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, fell to 4.1 million square kilometers. 


At the time, there were some questions about how quickly the sea ice might recover. We might have hit a new low, but it could just be an early low and in September, things might bounce back. So far, that's not happening. Here's a chart I made of the most recent data from the NSIDC:

seaicenew2.jpg

At 3.56 million square kilometers, this new record means that there is roughly half as much ice at this minimum as there was just a few decades ago. For context, here's the way the NSIDC charts it:

N_stddev_timeseries.png

It is worth noting that the NSIDC calculated that there was more sea ice on September 4 than on September 3, so we could be reaching the end of the melt. On the other hand, a similar pause occurred on August 30 before the decline continued. 
Presented by

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

Just In