Arctic Sea Ice on August 26, 2012

This visualization shows the extent of Arctic sea ice on Aug. 26, 2012, the day the sea ice dipped to its smallest extent ever recorded in more than three decades of satellite measurements, according to scientists from NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The data is from the U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program's Special Sensor Microwave/Imager. The line on the image shows the average minimum extent from the period covering 1979-2010, as measured by satellites. Every summer the Arctic ice cap melts down to what scientists call its "minimum" before colder weather builds the ice cover back up. The size of this minimum remains in a long-term decline. The extent on Aug. 26. 2012 broke the previous record set on Sept. 18, 2007. But the 2012 melt season could still continue for several weeks.

Visualization Credits

Cindy Starr (GST): Lead Animator
Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Animator
Lori Perkins (NASA/GSFC): Animator
Jefferson Beck (USRA): Producer
Josefino Comiso (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Robert Gersten (RSIS): Scientist
Laurence Schuler (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Project Support
Ian Jones (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Project Support
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).

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Data Used:
Comiso's Daily Sea Ice Concentration 08/26/2012
DMSP/SSM/I 1979 - 2010, 2012
DMSP/SSMI/Comiso's Average Sea Ice Minimum from 1979 through 2010 1979 - 2010

DLESE >> Cryology
DLESE >> Physical oceanography
SVS >> Sea Ice
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Sea Ice
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Oceans >> Sea Ice
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Sea Ice >> Sea Ice Concentration
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version