Arctic Sea Ice Maximum 2023

  • Released Wednesday, March 15, 2023

After growing through the fall and winter, sea ice in the Arctic appears to have reached its annual maximum extent. The image above shows the ice extent—defined as the total area in which the ice concentration is at least 15 percent—at its 2023 maximum, which occurred on March 6. On this day the extent of the Arctic sea ice cover peaked at 14.62 million square kilometers (5.64 million square miles), making it the fifth lowest yearly maximum extent on record. This year’s maximum is 1.03 million sq km below the 1981-2010 average Arctic maximum of 15.65 million sq km. The trend in the maximum is -41,200 sq km per year or -2.6 % per decade relative to the 1981-201 average.


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Release date

This page was originally published on Wednesday, March 15, 2023.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 11:43 AM EDT.

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