Arctic Sea Ice Minimum

Arctic sea ice reaches its minimum each September. September Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 13.3 percent per decade, relative to the 1981 to 2010 average. This graph shows the average monthly Arctic sea ice extent in September since 1979, derived from satellite observations.

The animated time series below shows the annual Arctic sea ice minimum since 1979, based on satellite observations. The 2012 sea ice extent is the lowest in the satellite record.

AVERAGE SEPTEMBER EXTENT

Data source: Satellite observations. Credit: NSIDC
Rate of Change
13.3
percent per decade

Time Series: 1979-2015

Data source: Satellite observations.
Credit: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio
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1979
2015