Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut August 27, 2012 - 12:48 pm

Arctic sea ice extent hits new low in August: data centre

Sea ice extent covers less of the Arctic in 2012 than in 2007

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Arctic sea ice extent for August 26, 2012 was 4.10 million square kilometres, which was 70,000 sq. km. below the Sept. 18, 2007 daily extent of 4.17 million sq. km. The orange line shows the 1979 to 2000 median extent for that day. The black cross indicates the geographic North Pole. (IMAGE COURTESY OF THE NSIDC)
Arctic sea ice extent for August 26, 2012 was 4.10 million square kilometres, which was 70,000 sq. km. below the Sept. 18, 2007 daily extent of 4.17 million sq. km. The orange line shows the 1979 to 2000 median extent for that day. The black cross indicates the geographic North Pole. (IMAGE COURTESY OF THE NSIDC)

The Arctic sea ice extent in 2012 will break previous low records, the National Snow and Ice Data Center said Aug. 27.

Arctic sea ice appears to have already broken the 2007 record daily extent, the Colorado-based data centre reported.

With two to three more weeks left in the melt season, sea ice continues to track below 2007 daily extents.

Including this year, the six lowest ice extents in the satellite record have occurred in the last six years, from 2007 to 2012, the NSIDC said.

After tracking near 2007 levels through July, the ice extent declined rapidly in early August.

Since then, the loss rate has slowed some, averaging about 75,000 square kilometres per day.

However, this is still much faster than the normal rate at this time of year of about 40,000 sq. km. per day.

The graph above shows Arctic sea ice extent as of August 26, 2012, along with daily ice extent data for 2007, the previous record low year, and 1980, the record high year. 2012 is shown in blue, 2007 in green, and 1980 in orange. The 1979 to 2000 average is in dark gray. The gray area around this average line shows the two standard deviation range of the data. The 1981 to 2010 average is in sky blue. (GRAPH COURTESY OF THE NSIDC)
The graph above shows Arctic sea ice extent as of August 26, 2012, along with daily ice extent data for 2007, the previous record low year, and 1980, the record high year. 2012 is shown in blue, 2007 in green, and 1980 in orange. The 1979 to 2000 average is in dark gray. The gray area around this average line shows the two standard deviation range of the data. The 1981 to 2010 average is in sky blue. (GRAPH COURTESY OF THE NSIDC)
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