Sea Ice Extent Animation updated for 2010

We’ve told you a few times about the excellent Sea Ice Extent data that the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has been producing. They’ve recently updated their files to show data from 2010, and the results are quite stunning:

sea-ice-2010.jpg

According to their site, the 2010 low (reached on September 19) was the third lowest on satellite record:

Average ice extent for September 2010 was 4.90 million square kilometers (1.89 million square miles), 2.14 million square kilometers (830,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average, but 600,000 square kilometers (230,00 square miles) above the average for September 2007, the lowest monthly extent in the satellite record. Ice extent was below the 1979 to 2000 average everywhere except in the East Greenland Sea near Svalbard.

The U.S. National Ice Center declared both the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route open for a period during September. Stephen Howell of Environment Canada reported a record early melt-out and low extent in the western Parry Channel region of the Northwest Passage, based on analyses of the Canadian Ice Service. Two sailing expeditions, one Norwegian and one Russian, successfully navigated both passages and are nearing their goal of circumnavigating the Arctic.

You can check it out for yourself using this KMZ file. Or, if you’d prefer, you can simply watch the video below that shows all of the data in the KMZ.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.



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