New Arctic Sea ice low
Posted on: March 26, 2015
As a winter risk management company we would usually be delighted at reducing levels of ice, but this week it has been announced that the levels of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean are at their lowest levels since satellite monitoring began in 1979. The Arctic sea ice follows an annual cycle - freezing during the winter months and melting during the spring and summer. It is usually around this time of year that the ‘winter maximum’ is reached.
The winter maximum is the point in the year when the build-up of ice levels in the Arctic Ocean reaches its peak. Data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado shows that the maximum this winter was 14.5 million square kilometres, reached on the 25th February 2015. This figure beats the previous worst, recorded in 2011, by 1%.
Scientists have been aware of a reduction in Arctic sea ice for decades, but this new low brings the possibility of an ice-free Arctic a step closer.
Reduction in Winter Maximum
- 1980: 16.5 million sq. km