Arctic sea ice animation

The decline of Arctic sea ice over the past 40 years has been one of the more obvious signs that Earth’s climate is warming, especially in the summer when the ice extent reaches its annual minimum. Here you can watch how the amount of sea ice in the Arctic has varied since the start of the satellite era in late-1978.

Animation for September sea ice concentration:

Alternatively, in winter there is a smaller decline. Or you can see all months (large file).

On top of the long-term downward trend, there are substantial year-to-year variations in the amount of sea ice due to fluctuations in the weather. We do not expect new record low amounts to be seen every year.

[Note that there are gaps in the data near the North Pole, especially because the earlier satellites could not collect data there.]

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