Global Snow and Ice - July 2018
Sea Ice Extent
|July 2018||Sea Ice Extent||
(out of 40 years)
|million km2||million mi2||Year(s)||million km2||million mi2|
Data Source: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Period of record: 1979–2018 (40 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 July 2018 was 8.22 million square km (3.20 million square miles), 1.25 million square km (483,000 square miles), or 13.2 percent, below the 1981-2010 average. This was the ninth smallest July Arctic sea ice extent on record and the largest since 2015. Sea ice contracted rapidly during late July and the daily extent was near record-low levels at the end of the month. At the end of July, below-average sea ice coverage was observed in the Barents, Kara, Laptev, East Greenland, and Chukchi Seas, while near-average ice coverage persisted in the Beaufort and East Siberian Seas. July Arctic ice extent is decreasing at an average rate of 7.1 percent per decade.
The July Southern Hemisphere sea ice extent was 15.66 million square km (6.05 million square miles), which was 300,000 square km (110,000 square miles), or 1.9 percent, below the 1981-2010 average. This was the eighth smallest July Southern Hemisphere sea ice extent on record. Antarctic sea ice expanded at a rate faster than average during the first half of July, but slowed during late July. Near-average sea ice coverage was observed for most areas around Antarctica with below-average ice occurring north of Wilkes Land and Queen Maud Land. Southern Hemisphere June sea ice extent is increasing at an average rate of 0.8 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.