Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis: Near-real-time data for all

daily data graph from arctic sea ice news

On the Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis Web site, readers can find near-real-time data and current analysis of conditions in the Arctic. This graph shows data from September 5, 2011, as Arctic sea ice extent approached the record low levels seen in 2007. Light blue indicates 2011, dashed green shows 2007, dark blue shows 2010, purple shows 2008, and dark gray shows the 1979 to 2000 average. The gray area around the average line shows the two standard deviation range of the data. Credit: NSIDC

As Arctic sea ice declines towards its lowest extent for the year, people around the world are watching. Will the ice extent break another record this year? What would it mean if it does break a record? If it doesn’t break a record, does that mean the sea ice is recovering?

Many people will find their answers to these questions on the NSIDC Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis Web site. Interested readers can follow the ups and downs of sea ice extent in near-real time, checking back daily for data updates. Once or twice a month, NSIDC scientists weigh in with their analysis of current conditions and highlights of related data and research, including from the broader science community. Scientists work with NSIDC communications staff to write clear, concise articles. The result is a unique source of scientific information that provides valuable real-time input for researchers around the world studying sea ice and the Arctic environment, but written in a way that is accessible to everyone, including the general public.

Making data available and understandable

Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis grew out of an effort to share information with journalists, during the record-low sea ice levels in 2007. But the site drew millions of visits, reaching a far broader audience than originally intended. Regular readers now include scientists, journalists, teachers, students, and the interested public. These readers have different views about science and the changing climate, but all are interested in sea ice data.

NSIDC primarily functions as a data center, archiving scientific data and making it available to scientists. But more and more, people are calling for transparency and openness in scientific data. Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis shows one way to do that. Making data available is of little use unless people can understand where it comes from and what it means.

Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis is partially funded by NASA.

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