Arctic sea ice coverage

On September 10, the Arctic sea ice coverage appeared to have hit its lowest for the year. This was the second-smallest ice cover ever recorded, tying with the low of 2007. The lowest was in 2012. The Arctic sea ice floats in the water body around the North Pole region. The size of  the coverage has been recorded by scientists since 1979. The ice cover melts and decreases in the summer months, and it refreezes and increases in the winter months. Usually, the largest sea ice cover over the Arctic is in the month of March, and the lowest is in the month of September.

The Arctic sea ice is very important. It acts like our planet’s air conditioner and helps control Earth’s climate. The sea ice reflects back into space a large percentage of sunlight that reaches the ice. The ocean surface without the ice cover would absorb a large percentage of the sunlight, which in turn would make the water warmer, and melt more ice.

Here is an older video explaining Arctic sea ice cover, and 3 videos explaining the role of ice in the ocean.



 

Image Credits: NOAA Climate.gov  for the Arctic sea ice and graph images
Sources: NOAA Climate.gov