Arctic Sea Ice Maximum 2024

  • Released Monday, March 25, 2024
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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 2024 maximum, which occurred on March 14. On this day the extent of the Arctic sea ice cover peaked at 15.01 million square kilometers (5.80 million square miles), making it the 14th lowest yearly maximum extent on record. This year’s maximum is 640,000 sq km below the 1981-2010 average Arctic maximum of 15.65 million sq km. The trend in the maximum is -39,800 sq km per year or -2.5 % per decade relative to the 1981-2010 average. Based on the linear trend values, the maximum extent has declined 1.79 million square kilometers since 1979. This is equivalent to the size of Alaska or ~6.5X Colorado.

Animation of arctic sea ice from the September 19, 2023 minimum to the the March 14, 2024 maximum


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Release date

This page was originally published on Monday, March 25, 2024.
This page was last updated on Monday, March 25, 2024 at 11:57 AM EDT.

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