The National Snow and Ice Data Center this week announced Arctic sea ice reached its minimum extent on September 17th. It’s the sixth lowest sea ice extent since scientists began keeping records back in 1979.
Ice extent was measured at 1.94 million square miles. According to the NSIDC, this year’s sea ice minimum is below the long term average.
But the measurement is still a preliminary measurement. Changing winds still have the potential to push the ice extent lower.
The NSIDC says it’s still too soon to tell whether the sea ice surrounding Antarctica has reached its maximum winter extent. However, sea ice in Antarctic has been recorded above average in almost all sections of that continent this year.
Scientists expect to announce the Antarctic maximum sea ice extent and official Arctic sea ice minimums minimum some time in October.