An image of the Arctic sea ice on September 16, 2012, the day that the National Snow and Ice Data Center identified to be the minimum reached in 2012. The sea ice is shown with a blue tint.

Arctic sea ice at very low levels

NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center report that the Arctic sea ice minimum ties that of 2007 as the second lowest of the 38 year satellite data record. 1. That means that there is now more open water that can absorb the summer’s 24/7 warming sun’s energy. 2.  Compared to the early 80s, there is now an additional  1.3 million square miles  of open water. (that’s about 40% of the area of CONUS!) 3.  The resulting ‘extra’ ocean heat is released into the atmosphere in the autumn and early winter. Researchers are studying if this extra energy…