Sea Ice Extent

The sea ice extent data for the Arctic and Antarctic are provided by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and are measured from passive microwave instruments onboard NOAA Satellites. The sea ice extent period of record is from 1979–2022 for a total of 44 years.

August 2022Sea Ice ExtentAnomaly
per decade
(44 years)
million km²million mi²Year(s)million km²million mi²
Northern Hemisphere5.952.30-7.47%-11.04%Largest32nd19838.193.16
Southern Hemisphere17.056.58-4.43%+0.39%Largest43rd201418.917.30

Data Source: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Period of record: 1979–2022 (44 years)

Globally, August 2022 saw the fifth-lowest August sea ice extent on record.

The Arctic sea ice extent for August 2022 was 5.99 million square kilometers (2.31 million square miles), which is about 1.21 million square kilometers (467,000 square miles) below the 1981–2010 average. Overall, August 2022 was the 13th-smallest Arctic sea ice extent on record for August. Sea ice extent was well below average in the Barents, Chukchi, Laptev, Kara, and Greenland seas, and the Hudson Bay. The Beaufort and Eastern Siberian seas, Baffin Bay, the Central Arctic, the Canadian Archipelago, and the Sea of Okhotsk had near-normal or slightly-below average sea ice extent for the month. Sea ice extent was not above average anywhere in the Arctic this month.

For the third consecutive month, Antarctica set a record low sea ice extent since records began in 1979. The August 2022 Antarctic sea ice extent was 16.97 million square kilometers (6.55 million square miles), or 750,000 square kilometers (290,000 square miles) below average. According to NSIDC, in early August the ice edge expanded in the Weddell and Ross Seas and retreated in the Bellingshausen Sea and the southern Indian Ocean.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Monthly Global Snow and Ice Report for August 2022, published online September 2022, retrieved on March 4, 2024 from