Sea ice in the Arctic grew to its annual maximum extent on March 17, 2018, joining 2015, 2016, and 2017 as the years with the lowest maximum extents on record, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and NASA. The Arctic sea ice cover peaked at 5.59 million square miles (14.48 million square kilometers), making it the second lowest maximum on record, at about 23,000 square miles (60,000 square kilometers) higher than the record low maximum reached on March 7, 2017.
This animation runs from October 1, 2017 to March 17, 2018, the date that the maximum sea ice extent occurred. The images shown here portray the sea ice as it was observed by the AMSR2 instrument onboard the Japanese Shizuku satellite. The opacity of the sea ice shown in this animation is derived from the AMSR2 sea ice concentration. The blueish white color shown on the sea ice is derived from the AMSR2 89 GHz brightness temperature data.
This image shows the maximum extent of the Arctic sea ice that occurred on March 17th, 2018. The yellow line indicates the 30 year average maximum extent calculated from 1981 through 2010. The date is shown in the upper left corner.
This image shows the maximum extent of the Arctic sea ice that occurred on March 17th, 2018. The yellow line indicates the 30 year average maximum extent calculated from 1981 through 2010. On this image, the date is not displayed.
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 188.8.131.52.0