Global Snow and Ice - June 2015
Sea Ice Extent
|June 2015||Sea Ice Extent||
(out of 37 years)
|million km2||million mi2||Year(s)||million km2||million mi2|
Data Source: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Period of record: 1979–2015 (37 years)
According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent — which is measured from passive microwave instruments onboard NOAA satellites — averaged for June 2015 was 10.97 million square km (4.24 million square miles), 920,000 square km (350,000 square miles), or 7.74 percent, below the 1981-2010 average. This was the third smallest June Arctic sea ice extent on record, slightly larger than the June sea ice extents of 2010 and 2012. The rate of sea ice loss was near average for June, with ice loss accelerating towards the end of the month. Sea ice extent was below average across the Barents and Chukchi Seas and across western parts of Hudson Bay. Above-average sea ice was observed across eastern parts of Hudson Bay and near-average sea ice was observed to the east of Greenland. For the month of June, the Arctic sea ice extent is decreasing at an average rate of 3.5 percent per decade.
The June 2015 Southern Hemisphere sea ice extent was 14.93 million square km (5.76 million square miles), 1.00 million square km (380,000 square miles), or 7.18 percent, above the 1981-2010 average. This was the third largest Antarctic sea ice extent on record, only smaller than the June sea ice extents of 2010 and 2014. There was slightly above-average sea ice in every region of the Antarctic, with much-above average ice in the eastern Waddell and Ross Seas. June 2015 is the fourth consecutive June with above-average sea ice extent in the Southern Hemisphere. June also marks the end of a two-consecutive month stretch (April and May 2015) of record large sea ice in the Antarctic, due to the ice growth slowing in some regions during the month. June Antarctic sea ice extent is increasing at an average rate of 1.8 percent.
When combining the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere sea ice extents, the globally-averaged sea ice extent during June was 25.90 million square km (10.00 million square miles), 0.35 percent above the 1981-2010 average and the 14th largest June global sea ice extent on record. Global sea ice extent during June has been above average for the past three years, despite the decreasing global sea ice trend of 0.62 percent per decade over the 37-year period of record.
For further information on the Northern and Southern Hemisphere snow and ice conditions, please visit the NSIDC News page.