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Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry
October 2018

Vol. 23, No.40 Week of October 07, 2018

Arctic sea ice extent at minimum for year

Alan Bailey

Petroleum News

The Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its minimum extent for this year on Sept. 19 and 23, the National Snow and Ice Data Center has announced. The minimum extent was 1.77 million square miles - this year ties with the 2008 and 2010 as the sixth lowest extent recorded since satellite observations began in 1979. The lowest ever extent recorded, 1.63 million square miles, was observed on Sept. 17, 2012. The lowest extents recorded have all happened in the last 12 years, the NSIDC said.

This years minimum extent was reached twice within a few days and ties with 1997 as one of the latest occurring ice minima on record. The NSIDC attributes the late date at least partially to warm winds blowing north from the East Siberian Sea. In addition to being a source of warm air, these winds prevented ice from drifting or growing southward, the NSIDC said.

Long term trends for polar sea ice coverage form on of a number of indicators of global climate change.

- ALAN BAILEY






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