While we are on the subject of snow and ice (see previous post), it seems a good time to take a look to the Arctic. On 23 July, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reported that the Arctic sea ice extent was 7.32 million square kilometers, slightly lower than the record low for the day set last year (7.22 million square kilometers) and far below the 1979–2000 average (1979 is the start of the satellite record).
Arctic sea-ice extent typically reaches a minimum in September, and the lowest extent in the satellite record occurred during 2007. As can be seen in the graph above, we are presently neck-and-neck with 2007. Whether or not we break the 2007 record will depend on the meteorology over the next few weeks. For further information, see the NSIDC's Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis.