Historically, the annual minimum in NH sea ice area occurs sometime near the end of August or during the month of September. The median (1979-present) annual sea ice minimum occurs on September 8, but the dates have ranged by nearly a month from as early as August 26 to as late as September 24.
You can view the annual historic sea ice minima in atlas form below, or as an animation here:
The number of days that the Northern Hemisphere sea ice area has been under the 7 million square km threshold has increased by more than 50% over the past few decades.
The dates of annual sea ice minima have almost all occurred in the month of September, usually in the first two weeks.
Return to the Cryosphere Today