Global Snow and Ice - August 2016
Sea Ice Extent
|August 2016||Sea Ice Extent||
(out of 38 years)
|million km2||million mi2||Year(s)||million km2||million mi2|
Data Source: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Period of record: 1979–2016 (38 years)
According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the Northern Hemisphere (Arctic) sea ice extent — which is measured from passive microwave instruments onboard NOAA satellites — averaged for August 2016 was 5.60 million square km (2.16 million square miles), 1.68 million square km (650,000 square miles), or 23.08 percent, below the 1981-2010 average. This was the fourth smallest August Arctic sea ice extent on record, and 890,000 square km (340,000 square miles) larger than the smallest August Arctic sea ice extent that occurred in 2012. For the entire month, the rate of sea ice loss was 75,000 square km (29,000 square miles) per day, which was faster than the average of 57,300 square kilometers (22,100 square miles) per day. Regionally, below-average sea ice was observed for most of the Arctic with near-average sea ice in part of the Laptev Sea. August Arctic sea ice extent is decreasing at an average rate of 10.2 percent per decade.
The August Southern Hemisphere (Antarctic) sea ice extent was 18.19 million square km (7.02 million square miles), which was 40,000 square km (10,000 square miles), or 0.22 percent, above the 1981-2010 average. This was the 19th largest August Southern Hemisphere sea ice extent on record. Southern Hemisphere August sea ice extent is increasing at an average rate of 0.77 percent per decade, with substantial inter-annual variability.
For further information on the Northern and Southern Hemisphere snow and ice conditions, please visit the NSIDC News page.