2021 Arctic Summer Sea Ice 12th-Lowest on Record

Christine Mataya September 23, 2021

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/esnt/2021/nasa-finds-2021-arctic-summer-sea-ice-12th-lowest-on-record

Sea ice in the Arctic appears to have hit its annual minimum extent on Sept. 16, after waning in the 2021 Northern Hemisphere spring and summer. The summertime extent is the 12th-lowest in the satellite record, according to scientists at the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center and NASA.

This year, the minimum extent of Arctic sea ice dropped to 4.72 million square kilometers (1.82 million square miles). Sea ice extent is defined as the total area in which ice concentration is at least 15%.

The average September minimum extent record shows significant declines since satellites began measuring consistently in 1978. The last 15 years (2007 to 2021) are the lowest 15 minimum extents in the 43-year satellite record.

This visualization, created at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, shows data provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), acquired by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) instrument aboard JAXA’s Global Change Observation Mission 1st-Water “SHIZUKU” (GCOM-W1) satellite.

A NASA GSFC/Scientific Visualization Studio video about this year's minimum is available here.

Request an account

Join scientists from Federal, State, academic, NGO, and industry organizations working to accelerate the progress of Arctic research.

Membership suggestions are subject to approval and adherence to the IARPC Collaborations codes of conduct.

IARPC
Contact

Liz Weinberg
Web Manager & Community Coordinator
liz@iarpccollaborations.org
(503) 893-8910