Annual Arctic Sea Ice Minimum 1979-2019 with Area Graph

  • Released Friday, January 10th, 2020
  • Updated Friday, August 25th, 2023 at 12:12AM
  • ID: 4786

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. This graph displays the area of the minimum sea ice coverage each year from 1979 through 2019. In 2019, the Arctic minimum sea ice covered an area of 3.66 million square kilometers.

This visualization shows the expanse of the annual minimum Arctic sea ice for each year from 1979 through 2019 as derived from passive microwave data. A 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.


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).


This visualization can be found in the following series:

Datasets used in this visualization

Comiso's September Minimum Sea Ice Concentration
Data Compilation NASA/GSFC 1979-2016

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.