A newer version of this visualization is available.
Annual Arctic Sea Ice Minimum 1979-2013 with Area Graph
Satellite-based passive microwave images of the sea ice have provided a reliable tool for continuously monitoring changes in the Arctic ice since 1979. Every summer the Arctic ice cap melts down to what scientists call its "minimum" before colder weather begins to cause ice cover to increase. The ice parameters derived from satellite ice concentration data that are most relevant to climate change studies are sea ice extent and sea ice area. This graph displays the area of the minimum sea ice coverage each year from 1979 through 2013. In 2013, the Arctic minimum sea ice covered an area of 4.704 million square kilometers.
This visualization shows the expanse of the annual minimum Arctic sea ice for each year from 1979 to 2013 as derived from SSMI data. A semi-transparent graph overlay shows the area in million square kilometers for each year's minimum day. The date shown in the upper right corner indicates the current year being displayed.
The Earth showing the annual minimum sea ice with a graph overlay showing the annual minimum sea ice area in millions of square kilometers.
The Earth showing the annual sea ice minimum with a date overlay.
The graph overlay with transparency.
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).
SeriesThis visualization can be found in the following series:
Datasets used in this visualization
DMSPID: 11Collected with SSM/I 1979 - 2013
Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Special Sensor Microwave ImagerSee all pages that use this dataset
DMSP Sea Ice ConcentrationID: 290Collected with SSM/I 1979 - 2013
Comiso's September Minimum Sea Ice ConcentrationID: 540Data Compilation NASA/GSFC 1979 - 2013
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.