June 2014

One of the lowest maximum ice extents in 30 years

This year, Arctic sea ice reached its maximum extent at only the very start of spring, on 21 March 2014. Arctic sea ice extent for March 2014 averaged 14.8 million km2. This area is only 300,000 km2 greater than that of March 2006, the record year when ice extent shrank to its lowest winter maximum since the beginning of satellite observation. In fact, the winter of 2014 should be considered one of low ice cover, as it ranks fourth or fifth lowest in the satellite record. Ice extent in March was some 730,000 km2 below the benchmark average...

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