Arctic sea ice – at Earth’s most northerly latitudes – shrinks and grows on a yearly cycle. It reaches its minimum in September and its maximum in February or March. This satellite image from February 11 shows sea ice near its maximum for this year, in Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence.
There have been some lower-than-average temperatures in this region in winter 2013, but this year’s sea ice maximum is not very different from the norm.
Meanwhile, especially in the past decade, there has been much discussion about each year’s sea ice minimum in the Arctic. It’s the summertime Arctic sea ice that has appeared dramatically smaller each year, due to warming temperatures in the Arctic in summer. Check out these two maps, created from satellite data, comparing the Arctic ice minimum extents in 2012 and 1984.
David Callejas, Marketing Director, helps bring EarthSky's content to the world via online ads and other products. He creates strategies that help people around the world find us and appreciate the work we do. He helps manage the EarthSky Store and bring to you the new products that you love. He's the chief liaison between EarthSky.org and the world of commerce. All that, plus he helps post content and populate our pages on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Go David!