Icebreaker and ice-hardened tankers made several voyages within the route as early as June. A polar ice cap is body of ice in a high latitude region of a plant. See About the Cryosphere. Sea ice growth in the last 10 days of the month was mostly along the Siberian coast, extending northward, and along the Eurasian side of the sea ice pack, extending southward. Forests rim some ice caps in Iceland, Russia, and Canada. These images use data from the AMSR-E/AMSR2 Unified Level-3 12.5 km product. On Mars, polar ice caps are a combination of water ice and solid carbon dioxide. Scientists blog from Antarctica and provide a glimpse of what it's like to do research in the field. Transits through the NSR are shown in red, departing or arriving at the Arctic coastal ports in blue and green, and port-to-port within the Arctic is shown in yellow. Sea ice extent for October 2020 was 5.28 million square kilometers (2.04 million square miles), placing it lowest in the satellite record for the month. Figure 4a. Arctic sea ice extent was 4.21 million square kilometers (1.62 million square miles) on September 16, which is likely near the seasonal minimum extent that is expected within the next week. The different shades of gray over land indicate the land elevation with the lightest gray being the highest elevation. The five lowest September extent minima (2007, 2012, 2016, 2019, and 2020) all show large departures in October extent compared to the reference period (Figure 4b). Figure 3. Figure 4: Color-coded animation displaying the last 2 weeks of the daily sea ice concentrations in the Northern Hemisphere. The last two weeks have seen periods of declining extent along with periods of little change or even gains in extent. Yellows and reds indicate high air pressure; blues and purples indicate low pressure.Credit: NSIDC courtesy NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory Physical Sciences Division High-resolution image. The sea ice cover is one of the key components of the polar climate system. Figure 2: Color-coded map of the daily sea ice concentration in the Northern Hemisphere for the indicated recent date along with the contours of the 15% edge during the years with the least extent of ice (in red) and the greatest extent of ice (in yellow) during the period from November 1978 to the present. The increase in August activity between 2018, 2019, and 2020 is shown in the bar chart at upper left. This plot shows the departure from average air temperature in the Arctic at the 925 hPa level, in degrees Celsius, for October 2020. Large heat transfers from the open water to the atmosphere have manifested as above-average air temperatures near the surface of the ocean. 2020 had slightly more shipping than 2019 when comparing August shipping from both years. This chart shows monthly sea ice extent anomaly (difference from the 1981 to 2010 average) for 1979 to October 2020. The plots and color-coded maps are chosen to provide information about the current state of the sea ice cover and how the most current daily data available compare with the record lows and record highs for the same date during the satellite era. Looking for facts and information? This has the effect of delaying sea ice formation—before ice can form, the ocean must lose this heat to the atmosphere and then to space (Figure 4a). General public and data users: Sea Ice Index data.Credit: National Snow and Ice Data CenterHigh-resolution image, Figure 2b. Summertime blues: The Arctic ice cap hits a record low The view of earth from space can still tingle, its vulnerable beauty cast against the vast blackness beyond. Sea ice extent is above average along a wide area of the Ross Sea and Wilkes Land coast, and in the Eastern Weddell Sea. On Thin Ice:Expedition to a Crumbling Ice Shelf. What's hot in the news around climate and sea ice and what are scientists talking about now? Arctic sea ice extent for October 2020 was 5.28 million square kilometers (2.04 million square miles). © 2019, National Snow and Ice Data Center :: Advancing knowledge of Earth's frozen regions. Sea Ice Index data. Throughout the month, sea ice grew by an average of 71,200 square kilometers (27,500 square miles) per day, which is close to the average rate for 1981 to 2010. From October 13 into early November, the daily sea ice extent was the lowest for that day in the satellite record. This includes complete transits from Europe to East Asia, local shipping within the Arctic Ocean, and deliveries of liquefied natural gas from gas fields in the Yamal Peninsula to ports in both Europe and East Asia. The sea ice data for the Sea Ice Index are from the NASA Snow and Ice Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC), which is funded by NASA award 80GSFC18C0102, and from the CIRES cooperative agreement with NOAA, which is funded by NOAA NA15OAR4320137. Seasonal cycle of Northern Hemisphere sea ice extents (a) and areas (b), given as daily averages, for the years 2010 through 2020. Sea Ice Index data. The vertical line represents the last data point plotted. The graph also includes lines for selected earlier years, for comparison. Shown below are up-to-date satellite observations of the sea ice covers of both the Arctic and the Antarctic, along with comparisons with the historical satellite record of more than 37 years. The five lowest September extent minima (2007, 2012, 2016, 2019, and 2020) all show large departures in October extent compared to the reference period. Figure 6: Color-coded map of the daily sea ice concentration in the Southern Hemisphere for the indicated recent date along with the contours of the 15% edge during the years with the least extent of ice (in red) and the greatest extent of ice (in yellow) during the period from November 1978 to the present. J. C. Comiso, C. L. Parkinson, T. Markus, D. J. Cavalieri and R. Gersten. The different shades of gray over land indicate the land elevation with the lightest gray being the highest elevation. Notably, in the last few days of the month, sea ice concentration dropped in the area of the Maud Rise and in an area near the front of the Amery Ice Shelf. Figure 7. For the first three weeks of October, however, growth rates were well below average, around 51,600 square kilometers (19,900 square miles) per day. The maximum extent was the eleventh highest in the satellite record. —Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center. The sea ice cover is one of the key components of the polar climate system. Few organisms have adapted to life on an ice cap, although many plants and animals live on the cold periphery. Contact NSIDC User Services or call +1 303.492.6199 On Mars, polar ice caps are a combination of water ice and solid carbon dioxide. Since then, Antarctic sea ice has declined by 1.30 million square kilometers (502,000 million square miles), but at a rate slightly slower than the average, resulting in a slight increase in the difference between the daily sea ice extent and the 1981 to 2010 average.