2014 Arctic sea ice extent sixth lowest on record: data centre
Melt season wraps up
Cambridge Bay residents woke up this morning to see a sheen of ice floating on top of the water in the bay.
That’s no surprise because the end of this year’s Arctic sea ice melt season is “imminent,” according to the National Snow and Ice Date Centre, which bases its analysis on satellite images of Arctic ice cover.
The minimum extent of Arctic sea ice will be slightly lower than last year’s, making it the sixth lowest extent in the satellite record, the NSIDC said Sept. 16.
Arctic sea ice extent for Sept.15 was 5.07 million square kilometres — 30,000 sq km less ice than last year at this time.
And Arctic sea ice extent remains low compared to the long-term 1981 to 2010 average, the NSIDC said.
Sea ice extent declined at a rate of 28,700 sq km per day through the first half of September.
That’s nearly twice as fast as the 1981 to 2010 average rate of decline for this period of 16,200 sq km per day, the NSIDC said.
The Northwest Passage is closed, the NSIDC said, while the Northern Sea Route still remains largely ice free.
Satellite images from 2014 also show a strong northward extension of ice which is less than one year old. That “young” ice melts more quickly, where open water has developed.