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Antarctic Sea Ice Extent Passes Minimum

March 1, 2014

By Paul Homewood




Antarctic sea ice extent has passed the minimum, and remains well above average. It hit minimum on 20th Feb, which is exactly when the climatology suggests, with 3.515 million sq km. This ranks 4th highest since records began in 1979, behind 2008, 2013 and 2003 (in that order). The climatological average for 1981-2010 is 2.876 million sq km .


Figure 1 gives the trend for end of February extents since 1979, showing sizeable increases in some, but not all, recent years.



Figure 1



Most of the excess ice is off the West Antarctic Peninsula, and Cryosphere Today’s imagery, below, suggests that the ice there is exceptionally well concentrated.




  1. Brian H permalink
    March 1, 2014 7:32 pm

    Multi-year ice building near Antarctica. Who knew?

  2. gareth permalink
    March 1, 2014 8:56 pm

    Did you see the 1976 flip in polar sea ice extent TRENDS in the 1970s ,reported by the IPCC 1990 FAR ?

    P224 [P272 IN PDF]

    Figure 7.20: (a) Northern Hemisphere, and (b) Southern Hemisphere sea-ice extent anomalies. Data from NOAA (USA).

    …omitted in 2013 AR5

    P 334 [P18 IN PDF]

    FAQ 4.1, Figure 1 | The mean circulation pattern of sea ice and the decadal trends (%) in annual anomalies in ice extent (i.e., after removal of the seasonal cycle), in different sectors of the Arctic and Antarctic. Arrows show the average direction and magnitude of ice drift. The average sea ice cover for the period
    1979 through 2012, from satellite observations.



  1. Antarctic Sea Ice Extent Passes Minimum | NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT | Cranky Old Crow

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