Earth 

Arctic Sea Ice 2011 Minimum

Sea ice in the Arctic ocean declines from its near-maximum state in early spring 2011 through the summer and up until the summer minimum of Sept. 9, 2011, in this visualization of data collected by the AMSR-E instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite. Sea ice goes through this shrink-and-swell rhythm every year, but since consistent satellite observations began in 1979, both the annual minimum at the end of summer and the annual maximum at the end of winter continue to decline in area and thickness.

Arctic sea ice extent on Sept. 9 was 4.33 million square kilometers (1.67 million square miles), placing 2011 as the second lowest minimum ice extent on record. Ice extent was 2.43 million square kilometers (938,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average.

Below two versions of the AMSR-E visualization is a video featuring NASA Cryosphere Program Manager Tom Wagner, who shares his insights on the 2011 minimum.


Credits

Trent L. Schindler (UMBC): Lead Animator
Cindy Starr (GST): Animator
Jefferson Beck (USRA): Producer
Malissa Reyes (USRA): Producer
Patrick Lynch (Wyle Information Systems): Writer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Short URL to share this page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10828

Data Used:
Aqua/AMSR-E

This item is part of this series:
Narrated Movies

Keywords:
SVS >> Climate
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Ocean
SVS >> Sea Ice
SVS >> Arctic
NASA Science >> Earth