Antarctic Sea Ice reaches Record Low

Sea ice around Antarctica in February 2023,  reached the lowest extent ever observed since the start of the satellite record in 1979.

But, the long-term trend for sea ice in southern polar waters is essentially flat, despite several recent years of low extents. The declines in sea ice at the North pole (in the Arctic) are pushing the global sea ice trend downward.

Sea ice around Antarctica reached its lowest extent on February 21, 2023, at 1.79 million square kilometers. That’s 130,000 square kilometers (50,000 square miles, approx. the size of New York state) below the previous record-low reached on February 25, 2022.

NASA Earth Observatory image by Lauren Dauphin, using data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Story by K. Hansen.