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2008 2019. Figure 1. This graph shows the average monthly Arctic sea ice extent each September since 1979, derived from … The increase in August activity between 2018, 2019, and 2020 is shown in the bar chart at upper left. Although they were abnormally large, the state of the polar ice caps in 1979 became the standard baseline in NASA’s study. However, in 2020, the Northern Sea Route was essentially ice free from mid-July through about October 25. Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis (ASINA) is produced by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), which is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder. Looking for facts and information? © 2019, National Snow and Ice Data Center :: Advancing knowledge of Earth's frozen regions. By the end of summer 2019, the Arctic ice cap had shrunk to the second-lowest level since satellite monitoring started in 1979. Press direct line: +1 303.492.1497. This figure shows a profile of temperature (in color) for the lower half of the atmosphere (500 to 1,000 millibars, or about 18,000 feet to the surface) versus latitude, averaged along a swath of longitudes from 140 to 170 degrees E. With longer periods of open water during spring and summer, more solar energy is absorbed within the upper part of the ocean. The German icebreaker Polarstern on Arctic sea ice in August 2020, as melt ponds are forming. Deep blue colors depict low autumn sea ice extent over the past 15 years.Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center High-resolution image. This chart shows monthly sea ice extent anomaly (difference from the 1981 to 2010 average) for 1979 to October 2020. No record-breaker maximum. About the dataCredit: University of BremenHigh-resolution image. Aerosol-driven increase in Arctic sea ice over the middle of the 20th Century, Geophysical Research Letters (2017). NASA Satellite Details How Fast Polar Ice Is Melting And Raising Sea Levels A new NASA satellite is providing a detailed look at how much polar ice is melting, ... April 30, 2020 3:35 PM ET. 2020 is shown in blue, 2019 in green, 2018 in orange, 2017 in brown, 2016 in purple, and 2012 in dashed brown. This was 3.07 million square kilometers (1.19 million square miles) below the 1981 to 2010 October average and 450,000 square kilometers (173,700 square miles) below the record low mark for October set in 2019. The announcement of the 2020 maximum Arctic extent lagged the actual event by nearly 20 days for a good reason. The years 2019 and 2020 saw significantly increased shipping activity compared with 2018. The Arctic has been warming at twice the global rate for the last 30 years, due to a process known as Arctic amplification. Before the start of the 2016 season, the West Madison Polar Caps Hockey club was faced with a problem: too many skaters and not enough ice. There has been a large expansion of thick ice into the Chukchi, Beaufort and East Siberian Seas since 2008. On March 24, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reported that the 2019–2020 growth season had an unexceptional finish: 5.81 million square miles (15.05 million square kilometers). This figure shows the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) sea ice concentration for Antarctic sea ice on October 31, 2020. This satellite image, captured in 2017, shows the rapid depletion of two ice caps on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic. A vast area of the Arctic Ocean remains ice free as November begins, far later in the season than is typical. "Thanks to the strong polar vortex, the Arctic sea ice reaches the largest ice extent in the past 11 years." This has the effect of delaying sea ice formation—before ice can form, the ocean must lose this heat to the atmosphere and then to space (Figure 4a). Based on passive microwave data, the Northern Sea Route remained open through nearly all of October. Marie-Ève Gagné et al. Accessed March 24, 2020. Warns Polar Ice Caps Melting Six … The five lowest September extent minima (2007, 2012, 2016, 2019, and 2020) all show large departures in October extent compared to the reference period. Summer weather conditions in the Arctic Ocean exert tremendous influence on the minimum extent, and those conditions cannot be predicted from sea ice extent at the end of winter. See About the Cryosphere. "The decline in Arctic sea ice in summer is one of the clearest, most unequivocal signs of climate change," said Julien Nicolas, an Arctic expert at the … At the close of December, sea ice growth had gained enough ground for daily extent to rank only seventh lowest, the highest at this time since 2014. Darkest blue indicates open water or ice concentration less than 15 percent. Accessed March 24, 2020. Temperatures in Central Canada were 1 to 4 degrees Celsius (2 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit) below average (Figure 2b). N_daily_extent.png (420×500) In the past two decades, high autumn temperatures over the open water here have strongly contributed to Arctic Amplification—the larger rise in air temperatures over the Arctic compared to the rest of the globe. Satellite-based passive microwave images of the sea ice have provided a reliable tool for continuously monitoring changes in the Arctic ice since 1979. This plot shows the departure from average air temperature in the Arctic at the 925 hPa level, in degrees Celsius, for October 2020. Scott Snowden Contributor. This excess heat transferred to the atmosphere can be seen in a vertical profile of temperature by latitude along longitude 140 to 170 degrees E, which cuts though the open water area along the Eurasian coast (Figure 4a). Is just above the average extent for early February for the last two weeks have periods. 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