2009 is the third-lowest Arctic sea ice extent observed, consecutively to the 2007 and 2008 minima
On Sept. 13, the yearly minimum sea ice extent was reached with 5.4 millions km², which confirms the significant sea ice extent decline since the 2000's. The level was 1.2 million km² (twice the size of France) less than the climatology 1992-2006 (see Figure 2). These last years records confirms that the Arctic old multi-year ice disappears.
Figure 1 shows the sea ice extent for these years and a climatological year 1992-2006, in 2009 the Northwest passage is again free of ice.
Figure 1 : Arctic sea ice area for yearly minimum of the climatology 1992-2006 (white), with contours of minimum areas of 2007 (in red), 2008 (in green) and 2009 (in blue).
Figure 2 presents the evolution of daily total sea ice area during May-October period for 2007, 2008 and 2009 and the long-term average 1992-2006.
Figure 2 : Time series (May-October) of the total Arctic sea ice area for 2007 (red), 2008 (green) and 2009 (blue). The long-term average 1992-2006 is added (grey).
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