According to Leif Toudal Pedersen from the Danish National Space Centre, the ice-covered area (light green in this image) is currently around 3 million sq km, which is about 1 million sq km less than the previous minimum levels recorded in 2005/6. Over the last ten years the sea ice coverage has shrunk by around 100,000 sq km per year, so a drop of 1 million sq km in just one year is an enormous change.

The strong reduction in just one year certainly raises flags that the ice (in summer) may disappear much sooner than expected and that we urgently need to understand better the processes involved.

Shouldn’t we be scared, even a bit?


  1. It is frightening. I wonder how this relates to Global Dimming. Between this ice, the Greenland Icecap and Antartica, only one has not yet shown any obvious signs of major melting. When Antartica does show those signs it will be yet another watershed moment.

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