Arctic Sea Ice Building Stalls to Record Low for October

Arctic sea ice, normally growing rapidly at this time of year post-sundown, has stalled.  Extent is currently 1.2 million square kilometers lower than the 2012 record low season, which had recovered to 6.6 million square kilometers by this point in the fall season; 2019, the third-lowest summer extent, also saw an unusually low recovery path. The 2020 summer sea ice extent was the second-lowest on record; and the lowest ever for the month of July. Sea ice scientists describe current conditions as uncharted territory for the fall ice-building season, but believe the slow recovery likely due to warmer waters, as well as air temperatures.  Overall thinner Arctic sea ice, and early sea ice retreat this summer, especially with high temperatures in Siberia allowed waters to warm faster this past season. Surface water temperatures still remain above freezing in the Eurasian sector, including the Bering Strait.  Follow this development daily at:

By Amy Imdieke, Global Outreach Director, and Pam Pearson, Director of ICCI.
Published Oct. 23, 2020      Updated Jul. 12, 2022 3:22 pm