Arctic sea ice minimum is the second lowest on record •

Last update: October 28th, 2020 at 5:00 pm

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory shows the 2020 Arctic sea ice minimum, which is the second lowest on record. 

The minimum sea ice extent, which was reached around September 15, measured 1.44 million square miles. The only other time that Arctic sea ice has fallen below 1.5 million square miles in the time of modern record keeping was in 2012.

According to measurements by NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder, the 2020 sea ice minimum is nearly a million square miles lower than the average between 1981 and 2000.

“As the sea ice cover extent declines, what we’re seeing is we’re continuing to lose that multiyear ice,” said NSIDC director Mark Serreze. “The ice is shrinking in the summer, but it’s also getting thinner. You’re losing extent, and you’re losing the thick ice as well. It’s a double whammy.”

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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