Arctic Temperature Alarm

Air temperature in the Arctic was -19.25°C on 2023-03-23. This is 0.15°C higher than 90th percentile of climatology period... READ MORE

Arctic Temperature Alarm

Air temperature in the Arctic was -19.28°C on 2023-03-22. This is 0.27°C higher than 90th percentile of climatology period... READ MORE

It’s now or never – IPCC 6th Assessment Report released today

Today the final synthesis of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s 6th Assessment Report cycle was released. This synthesis report restates that it is "now or never" to act, and that we are well on... READ MORE

Arctic sea ice maximum extent likely 5th lowest on record

Arctic sea ice has likely reached its maximum extent for the year, at 14.62 million square kilometres (5.64 million square miles) on March 6, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at... READ MORE

Record-breaking cyclone brings further decimation to world’s #1 climate vulnerable country

Tropical cyclone Freddy is set to make more international records--including possibly one for the longest-lasting storm, later this... READ MORE

COUNTDOWN

CO2 Budget Depletion

16 Mar 2023 | Arctic Ocean

Arctic sea ice maximum extent likely 5th lowest on record

Arctic sea ice has likely reached its maximum extent for the year, at 14.62 million square kilometres (5.64 million square miles) on March 6, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder. The 2023 maximum is the fifth lowest in the 45-year satellite record.

NSIDC scientists stress that the Arctic sea ice extent number is preliminary—continued winter conditions could still push the ice extent higher.

We spoke to our Chief Science Officer, Professor Julienne Stroeve about this year’s maximum and what this might mean for the summer sea ice this year. Watch the video below.

Why is sea ice important? Arctic sea ice is an indicator of climate stability. Today, there is about 40% less sea ice coverage at the end of the melt season than existed in the 1980s. The ice area shrank by almost half the size of the entire European Union. What was left was smaller than at any time in at least 1,000 years. But sea ice loss also worsens warming. White ice cover reflects much of the sun’s energy back out to space. But as ice disappears, the dark ocean is exposed, absorbs more of the sun’s energy, and warms, helping to melt more snow and ice. Estimates suggest that the loss of Arctic sea ice together with reductions in snow cover over the boreal land areas will exacerbate global warming by 25 – 40%. CLICK TO SEE THE DATA.

 

The NSIDC’s formal announcement will be at the beginning of April with full analysis of the possible causes behind this year’s ice conditions, interesting aspects of the growth season, the set up going into the summer melt season, and graphics comparing this year to the long-term record. Read the NSIDC Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis page for more details and images.

LATEST NEWS & ALERTS

ARCTIC RISK INDICATORS

The following gauges show up-to-date data regarding key indicators in the Arctic. These indicators clearly point to the crisis at hand.

Greenland rate of ice loss
4.5 hundred thousands l/s
on average in 1986-2015
4.5 tons per second
on average in 1986-2015
Worldwide number of disasters
265 disasters
more events in 2022 in comparison to 1970s
183 disasters
more events in 2022 in comparison to 1980s
100 disasters
more events in 2022 in comparison to 1990s
Arctic Sea Ice Extent
1,060,750 km²
below 1981-2010 average on 26-Mar-2023
409,555 mi²
below 1981-2010 average on 26-Mar-2023
Arctic Amplification
2.81 times
faster than global average in last 30 years
2.59 times
faster than global average in last 50 years
2.49 times
faster than global average in last 70 years
Arctic Wildfire emissions
0.19 megatonnes CO₂e
CO₂e emissions in 2023 so far
Arctic Air Quality (PM2.5)
2.72 microgram per cubic meter
on 21-Mar-2023