National Climate Assessment Annual Arctic Minimum Sea Ice Extents (1979-2012)
- Visualizations by:
- Alex Kekesi
- View full credits
This scientific visualization of annual minimum sea ice area over the Arctic from 1979-2012 is one element of the NCA that highlights findings conveyed in the "Our Changing Climate", the "Alaska and the Arctic" and the "Impacts of Climate Change on Tribal, Indigenous, and Native Lands and Resources" chapters of the draft Third NCA report. This record shows a persistent decline in the minimum extent of Arctic sea ice cover. The satellite observations are from passive microwave sensors and processed using the NASA Team algorithm developed by scientists at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The sensors that collected the data are the Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) on the NASA Nimbus-7 satellite and a series of Special Sensor Microwave Imagers (SSM/I) and Special Sensor Microwave Imager and Sounders (SSMIS) on U.S. Department of Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites. The data from the different sensors are carefully assembled to assure consistency throughout the 34 year record.
This visualization is similar to another developed by NASA, but is based on a slightly different algorithm to process the same sensor data. Both show similar downward trends in minimum sea ice area coverage over this time period.
Animation of Annual Minimum Sea Ice Extent over the Arctic from 1979 to 2012. (Final Composite.)
This video is also available on our YouTube channel.
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
- Alex Kekesi (GST) [Lead]
- Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC)
- Cindy Starr (GST)
- Alex Kekesi (GST)
- Claire Parkinson (NASA/GSFC)
- Don Cavalieri (NASA)
- Julienne Stroeve (NSIDC)
- Mark C. Serreze (NSIDC)
- Ted Scambos (NSIDC)
- Walt Meier (NASA/GSFC)
- Allison Leidner (USRA)
- Brooke Stewart (NOAA/NCDC,CICS-NC)
- Matt Savoie (NSIDC)
SeriesThis visualization can be found in the following series:
Datasets used in this visualization
Sea Ice Concentrations from Nimbus-7 SMMR and DMSP SSM/I-SSMIS Passive Microwave Data
This data set is generated from brightness temperature data derived from the following sensors: the Nimbus-7 Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR), the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) -F8, -F11 and -F13 Special Sensor Microwave/Imagers (SSM/Is), and the DMSP-F17 Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS). The data are provided in the polar stereographic projection at a grid cell size of 25 x 25 km. This product is designed to provide a consistent time series of sea ice concentrations (the fraction, or percentage, of ocean area covered by sea ice) spanning the coverage of several passive microwave instruments. To aid in this goal, sea ice algorithm coefficients are changed to reduce differences in sea ice extent and area as estimated using the SMMR and SSM/I sensors. The data are generated using the NASA Team algorithm developed by the Oceans and Ice Branch, Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC).
Dataset can be found at: http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0051.htmlSee more visualizations using this data set
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.