Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Arctic Sea Ice Cover Approaching A Record Low
Arctic sea ice extent during the first two weeks of August continued to track below 2007 record low daily ice extents. As of August 13, 2012, ice extent was already among the four lowest summer minimum extents in the satellite record, with about five weeks still remaining in the melt season. Sea ice extent dropped rapidly between August 4 and August 8.
Arctic sea ice extent on August 13, 2012, was 4.90 million square kilometers (1.9 million square miles). This is 2.81 million square kilometers (1.08 million square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average extent for the date, and is 450,000 square kilometers (173,745 square miles) below the previous record low for the date, which occurred in 2007. Low extent for the Arctic as a whole is driven by extensive open water on the Atlantic side of the Arctic, the Beaufort Sea, and—due to rapid ice loss over the past two weeks—the East Siberian Sea