Global Snow and Ice - July 2018

Sea Ice Extent

July 2018 Sea Ice Extent
1981-2010
Anomaly
Trend
(per decade)
Rank
(out of 40 years)
Records
million km2 million mi2 Year(s) million km2 million mi2
Northern Hemisphere 8.27 3.19 -12.67% -7.07% Largest 32nd 1983 10.57 4.08
Smallest 9th 2012 7.67 2.96
Southern Hemisphere 15.70 6.06 -1.63% +0.81% Largest 33rd 2014 17.11 6.61
Smallest 8th 2017 15.30 5.91
Globe 23.97 9.25 -5.74% -2.12% Largest 35th 1979 26.83 10.36
Smallest 5th 2017 23.24 8.97
Ties: 2012

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.

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Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Global Snow and Ice for July 2018, published online August 2018, retrieved on October 23, 2019 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global-snow/201807.

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