Antarctic Sea Ice Minimum, 2024

  • Released Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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On February 20th, 2024, Antarctic sea ice officially reached its minimum extent for the year.

This cycle of growth and melting occurs every year, with the ice reaching its smallest size during the southern hemisphere's summer.

This year's melt season concluded with a sea ice area of 768,000 square miles (1.99 million square kilometers) compared to the average minimum observed during the satellite era (1981-2010).

That is slightly larger than the state of Texas.

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, this marks the second-lowest sea ice extent recorded by satellites, reflecting a trend of declining coverage over time.

The extent of sea ice is critical for polar ecosystems and has far-reaching implications for Earth's climate and weather patterns.

Animation of Antarctic sea ice maximum extent, September 10 2023, to its minimum, February 20 2024, vertical format


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Release date

This page was originally published on Wednesday, February 28, 2024.
This page was last updated on Friday, March 1, 2024 at 1:01 PM EST.

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