Arctic Sea Ice Extent
The Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice coverage
Dansk version

Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice extent

Total sea ice extent on the northern hemisphere during the past years, including climate mean; plus/minus 1 standard deviation. The ice extent values are calculated from the ice type data from the Ocean and Sea Ice, Satellite Application Facility (OSISAF), where areas with ice concentration higher than 15% are classified as ice.

The total area of sea ice is the sum of First Year Ice (FYI), Multi Year Ice (MYI) and the area of ambiguous ice types, from the OSISAF ice type product. The total sea ice extent can differ slightly from other sea ice extent estimates. Possible differences between this sea ice extent estimate and others are most likely caused by differences in algorithms and definitions. Some time in 2013 sea ice climatology and anomaly data will become available here.


                       Sea ice extent in recent years for the northern hemisphere.
                       The grey shaded area corresponds to the climate mean
                       plus/minus 1 standard deviation.


The plot above replaces an earlier sea ice extent plot, that was based on data with the coastal zones masked out. This coastal mask implied that the previous sea ice extent estimates were underestimated. The new plot displays absolute sea ice extent estimates. The old plot can still be viewed here for a while.