As Arctic sea ice approaches its annual maximum level for the year, now is a good time to look at how it stands – especially in what some are claiming to be the hottest year on record.
Sea ice extent in recent years (in million km2) for the northern hemisphere, as a function of date.
In fact it appears it has reached its highest level ever over the last decade, and its only mid February. The DMI ice extent values are calculated from the data from the Ocean and Sea Ice, Satellite Application Facility (OSISAF), where areas with ice concentration higher than 30% are classified as ice, the site reports.
On the other hand, the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) here reports that January, 2016, saw the lowest Arctic sea ice extent (15%) on the satellite record. Other sources depicting 15% sea ice concentration extent also show similar low values.
The overall trend, however, shows nothing alarming. The following chart from the Cryosphere Today of the Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois shows Arctic sea ice remaining flat over the past decade.
Overall, globally, sea ice extent is depicted by the following NSDIC chart:
Source: climate4you.com, U. of Oslo Dept. of Geosciences.
According to the NSIDC, global sea ice has in fact been trending upwards over the past decade.