Future of the Environment

Arctic sea ice winter peak in 2021 is joint-seventh lowest on record

This year’s winter maximum extent is 870,000km2 smaller than the 1981-2010 average. Image: Unsplash/Cassie Matias

Ayesha Tandon

Science Journalist, Carbon Brief

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Arctic sea ice extent as of 29 March 2020 for the 2020-21 summer (blue line), along with daily ice extent data for the four previous years: 2011-2012 (green) and the 1981-2010 median (dark grey) and the grey shading shows the range around the median.
The extent of Arctic sea ice. Image: NSIDC
Average Arctic sea ice extent for March 2021. The orange line shows the 1981-2010 average extent for that month.
Average Arctic sea ice extent for March 2021. The orange line shows the 1981-2010 average extent for that month. Image: NSIDC
Average Arctic sea ice extent over the summer minimum for each decade of the satellite era (dotted lines) and for 2020 (red line). Individual years also shown. Chart by Dr Zack Labe using data from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Average Arctic sea ice extent over the summer minimum for each decade of the satellite era (dotted lines) and for 2020 (red line). Individual years also shown. Image: Chart by Dr Zack Labe using data from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Average Arctic sea ice extent for October 2020. The pink line shows the 1981-2010 average extent for that month. Credit: NSIDC
Average Arctic sea ice extent for October 2020. The pink line shows the 1981-2010 average extent for that month. Image: NSIDC
Arctic sea ice extent for each decade of the satellite era (dotted lines). Specific years are shown by the moving lines – 2007 (pink), 2012 (white), 2020 (blue) and 2021 so far (red). Chart by Dr Zack Labe using data from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Arctic sea ice extent for each decade of the satellite era (dotted lines). Specific years are shown by the moving lines – 2007 (pink), 2012 (white), 2020 (blue) and 2021 so far (red). Image: Chart by Dr Zack Labe using data from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
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Related topics:
Future of the EnvironmentArcticClimate ChangeClimate Indicators
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