University Of Tasmania

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[Antarctica] Sea ice extent, concentration, and seasonality [in “State of the Climate in 2016”]

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 09:45 authored by Reid, P, Stammerjohn, S, Robert MassomRobert Massom, Jan LieserJan Lieser, Barreira, S, Scambos, T
Both net sea ice extent (SIE) and area (SIA) were close to the 1981–2010 average for January through August 2016, after which there was a dramatic departure from the mean through to the end of the year (Fig. 6.8a). Maximum net SIE peaked on 31 August (18.44 × 106 km2); this was close to the long-term mean daily maximum (18.8 × 106 km2) but was the earliest annual daily maximum SIE on record since consistent satellite records began in 1979. (Prior to 2016, the earliest annual daily maximum SIE was 3 September 1994.) Thereafter, record low monthly mean SIA was recorded from September through December along with record low monthly SIE from October through December. The monthly anomalies of net SIE and SIA in November 2016 are over 5 standard deviations below the 1981–2010 average. Many individual daily record lows were broken, with 111 (74) days of record low SIA (SIE) between September and December (Fig. 6.8a). These record low values are a considerable departure both from the record high values observed during 2012–14 (Reid and Massom 2015), and also from the small but statistically significant increase in net SIE observed in satellite data since 1979 (Simmonds 2015; Comiso et al. 2017).


Publication title

Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society










Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Amer Meteorological Soc

Place of publication

45 Beacon St, Boston, USA, Ma, 02108-3693

Rights statement

Copyright 2017 American Meteorological Society.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Effects of climate change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments (excl. social impacts)