Antarctic Sea Ice Maximum, 2023

  • Released Monday, September 25th, 2023
  • Updated Monday, September 25th, 2023 at 1:04PM
  • ID: 5163

After growing through the southern hemisphere fall and winter, sea ice in the Antarctic appears to have reached its annual maximum extent. The image above shows the ice extent—defined as the total area in which the ice concentration is at least 15 percent—at its 2023 maximum, which occurred on September 10. On this day the extent of the Antarctic sea ice cover peaked at 16.96 million square kilometers (6.55 million square miles), making it the lowest yearly maximum extent on record. This year’s maximum is 1.75 million sq km below the 1981-2010 average Antarctic maximum of 18.71 million sq km.


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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

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