The 2010 Arctic sea ice minimum extent appears to be the third lowest in recorded history, reaching out only 4.76 million square kilometres (1.84 million square miles).
While the minimum extent is still greater than the first and second lowest minimum extent’s – 2007 and 2008 – this year’s minimum is still well below the long-term average and well outside the average explained by natural climate variability.
“We are still looking at summers with an ice-free Arctic Ocean in perhaps 20 to 30 years,” said Mark Serreze, a professor in CU-Boulder’s geography department.
Here are the stats;
- The 2010 minimum extent is 240,000 square kilometres (93,000 square miles) above the 2008 numbers
- The 2010 minimum extent is 630,000 square kilometres (240,000 square miles) above the record low in 2007
- The 2010 sea ice extent is 340,000 square kilometres (130,000 square miles) below the 2009 numbers
- The 2010 minimum is 1.95 million square kilometres (753,000 square miles) below the 1879-2000 average minimum
- The 2010 minimum is 1.62 million square kilometres (625,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2010 average minimum.