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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Monitoring Antarctic Sea Ice Since 1999

NASA's Earth Observatory shows us the maximum and minimum Antarctic sea ice extent since 1999.



The images show the maximum sea ice extent during each September going back ten years and the minimum extent, which occurs each February.

Since the start of the satellite record, total Antarctic sea ice has increased by about 1 percent per decade. Whether the small overall increase in sea ice extent is a sign of meaningful change in the Antarctic is uncertain because ice extents vary considerably from year to year and from sector to sector, according to the Earth Observatory report.

Sea ice extent in the Antarctic is greater than the Arctic's in the winter, but less than the Arctic in the summer due to large geographical differences.

You can push the play button below the images on the link for an animation of the max/min sea ice extents each year going back to 1999.

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