Overview on the current sea ice status in the Arctic and Antarctic

Sea ice extent and concentration in the Arctic and Antarctic are changing daily. Information on these parameters is gained from satellite observations and is presented here as daily maps of sea ice concentrations and time series of sea ice extent and area. An assessment of the current sea ice state in the Arctic and Antarctic can be found here (in German).

Current sea ice concentration

The following figure shows the current sea ice extent (red). Sea ice extent defines a region as „ice-covered“ or „ice-free“. Based on a certain threshold value, each individual grid cell of the satellite measurements is grouped into one of the two categories. For this figure, the threshold value was set to 15 percent. This means that if a grid cell exhibits a sea ice concentration above 15 percent, it is classified as „ice-covered“. If the concentration is below 15 percent, the cell is „ice-free“.

Current sea ice concentration

The color scale of the figures represents the sea ice concentration. White areas are indicating a sea ice concentration of 100 percent; dark blue regions are illustrating open sea water. Sea ice extent is defined as the total area for which ice concentrations of at least 15 percent could be identified.

All sea ice concentration data (in .hdf-format) of the University of Bremen (Institute for environmental physics) and high resolution maps of the daily sea ice concentration in the Arctic and Antarctic dating back to 19 June 2002, can be downloaded here from the DataPortal for the Arctic and Antarctic.

 

 

Sea ice concentration of the last three days

Additionally, .kmz files for display in googleEarth are available for today's data and can be downloaded here for the Arctic and Antarctic.

Current sea ice area

The following figure shows the current sea ice area (red). Please note that sea ice extent (figure on top of the page) and sea ice area representing different parameters from the same sea ice concentration data set, providing therefore different information.