Science & Technology

NASA: 2021 Arctic Summer Sea Ice Is 12th-Lowest on Record

A nonetheless picture visualizing Arctic sea ice on September 16, 2021, when the ice appeared to succeed in its yearly minimal extent. On this date, the extent of the ice was 4.72 million sq. kilometers (1.82 million sq. miles). Credit score: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

Sea ice within the Arctic seems to have hit its annual minimal extent on September 16, after waning within the 2021 Northern Hemisphere spring and summer time. {The summertime} extent is the Twelfth-lowest within the satellite tv for pc report, in keeping with scientists on the NASA-supported Nationwide Snow and Ice Knowledge Middle and NASA.

This 12 months, the minimal extent of Arctic sea ice dropped to 4.72 million sq. kilometers (1.82 million sq. miles). Sea ice extent is outlined as the whole space during which ice focus is at the least 15%.

The typical September minimal extent record reveals vital declines since satellites started measuring constantly in 1978. The final 15 years (2007 to 2021) are the bottom 15 minimal extents within the 43-year satellite tv for pc report.

This visualization, created at NASA’s Goddard Area Flight Middle in Greenbelt, Maryland, reveals knowledge supplied by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Company (JAXA), acquired by the Superior Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) instrument aboard JAXA’s World Change Statement Mission 1st-Water “SHIZUKU” (GCOM-W1) satellite tv for pc.

Satellite tv for pc-based passive microwave photos of the ocean ice have supplied a dependable software for constantly monitoring modifications within the Arctic ice since 1979. Each summer time the Arctic ice cap melts all the way down to what scientists name its “minimal” earlier than colder climate begins to trigger ice cowl to extend. An evaluation of satellite tv for pc knowledge by NASA and the Nationwide Snow and Ice Knowledge Middle (NSIDC) on the College of Colorado Boulder reveals that the 2021 minimal extent, which was doubtless reached on September 16, measured 1.82 million sq. miles (4.72 million sq. kilometers).

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Company (JAXA) gives many water-related merchandise derived from knowledge acquired by the Superior Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) instrument aboard the World Change Statement Mission 1st-Water “SHIZUKU” (GCOM-W1) satellite tv for pc. Two JAXA datasets used on this animation are the 10-km each day sea ice focus and the ten km each day 89 GHz Brightness Temperature.

On this animation, the each day Arctic sea ice and seasonal land cowl change progress by means of time, from the yearly most ice extent on March 21 2021, by means of its minimal on September 16, 2021. Over the water, Arctic sea ice modifications from daily displaying a working 3-day minimal sea ice focus within the area the place the focus is larger than 15%. The blueish white colour of the ocean ice is derived from a 3-day working minimal of the AMSR2 89 GHz brightness temperature. The yellow boundary reveals the minimal extent averaged over the 30-year interval from 1981 to 2010. Over the terrain, month-to-month knowledge from the seasonal Blue Marble Subsequent Era fades slowly from month to month. The faint circle that seems periodically near the pole is an artifact of the visualization course of, and doesn’t characterize an actual characteristic.

[Update] An earlier model had the items reversed on the picture caption. This has been mounted.

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