Arctic Sea Ice Reaches Lowest Extent in 2008, Second Lowest Ever Recorded

September 16, 2008

The Arctic sea ice cover appears to have reached its minimum extent for the year, the second-lowest extent recorded since satellite record-keeping began in 1979, according to the University of Colorado at Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center, or NSIDC.

While slightly above the record-low minimum set on Sept. 16, 2007, this season further reinforces the strong negative trend in summertime sea ice extent observed over the past 30 years, according to NSIDC researchers.

NSIDC will issue a press release at the beginning of October with full analysis of the possible causes behind this year's low ice conditions, particularly interesting aspects of the melt season, the conditions going into the winter growth season ahead, and graphics comparing this year to the long-term record.

Full text and graphics on this season's sea ice conditions are available at nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/.

NSIDC is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, a joint center of CU-Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NSIDC scientists provide Arctic sea ice news and analysis with partial support from NASA.

For more information contact Stephanie Renfrow in the NSIDC press office at 303-492-1497 or srenfrow@nsidc.org or Jim Scott in the CU-Boulder news office at 303-492-3114.

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