2020 Arctic Sea Ice Minimum
Arctic ice loss is leading to a reinforcing heat spiral. When ice melts and exposes the open ocean, the darker ocean surface absorbs more heat, which then leads to more ice loss, continuing the feedback loop. This contributes to the Arctic regions warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet.
- The 2020 minimum is about 969,000 square miles below the 1981-2010 average minimum extent, which is equivalent in size to roughly the states of Alaska, Texas, and Montana combined
- The 14 lowest extents in the satellite era have all occurred in the last 14 years.
- The record lowest extent occurred in 2012.