Arctic sea ice maximum at record low for third straight year
On March 7, 2017, Arctic sea ice likely reached its maximum extent for the year, at 14.42 million square kilometers (5.57 million mi2), the lowest in the 38-year satellite record. This year’s maximum extent is 1.22 million square kilometers (471,000 mi2) below 1981 to 2010 average maximum of 15.64 million square kilometers (6.04 million mi2) and 97,000 square kilometers (37,000 mi2) below the previous lowest maximum that occurred on February 25, 2015. This year’s maximum is 100,000 square kilometers (39,000 mi2) below the 2016 maximum, which is now third lowest.
In Antarctica, this year’s record low annual sea ice minimum of 815,000 square miles (2.11 million square kilometers) was 71,000 square miles (184,000 square kilometers) below the previous lowest minimum extent in the satellite record, which occurred in 1997.