A newer version of this visualization is available.
Annual Arctic Sea Ice Minimum 1979-2016 with Area Graph
Satellite-based passive microwave images of the sea ice have provided a reliable tool for continuously monitoring changes in the Arctic ice since 1979. Every summer the Arctic ice cap melts down to what scientists call its "minimum" before colder weather begins to cause ice cover to increase. This graph displays the area of the minimum sea ice coverage each year from 1979 through 2016. In 2016, the Arctic minimum sea ice covered an area of 3.57 million square kilometers.
This visualization shows the expanse of the annual minimum Arctic sea ice for each year from 1979 through 2016 as derived from passive microwave data. A graph overlay shows the area in million square kilometers for each year's minimum day. The date shown in the upper right corner indicates the current year being displayed.
A visualization of the annual minimum Arctic sea ice from 1979 to 2016 with a graph overlay. (slow playback)
A visualization of the annual minimum Arctic sea ice from 1979 to 2016 with the date. (fast playback)
A visualization of the annual minimum Arctic sea ice from 1979 to 2016 with the date. (slow playback)
The graph overlay with transparency that matches the "fast playback" visualization above
The graph overlay with transparency that matches the "slow playback" visualization above
This is sequence of still images consisting of one image per year. The file names include the year of each image.
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).
Sr. data analyst
- Robert Gersten (Wyle Information Systems)
SeriesThis visualization can be found in the following series:
Datasets used in this visualization
Comiso's September Minimum Sea Ice ConcentrationID: 540Data Compilation NASA/GSFC 1979-2016
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.