Media Advisory
26 August 2008

Arctic sea ice now second-lowest on record

sea ice extent mapFigure 1. Daily Arctic sea ice extent for August 26, 2008, fell below the 2005 minimum, which was 5.32 million square kilometers (2.05 million square miles). The orange line shows the 1979 to 2000 average extent for that day. The black cross indicates the geographic North Pole. Sea Ice Index data.

Sea ice extent has fallen below the 2005 minimum, previously the second-lowest extent recorded since the dawn of the satellite era. We will know if the 2008 record will also fall in the next several weeks, when the melt season comes to a close. The bottom line, however, is that the strong negative trend in summertime ice extent characterizing the past decade continues.

On August 27, 2008, at approximately 9:15 am MT, we issued an update with finalized numbers.

For the full announcement, see

For current updates on Arctic sea ice, see

Contact the NSIDC press office at or +1 303.492.1497.

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