The Arctic sun is low in the sky, and dropping toward the Solstice faster every day. It is bitter cold, and the autumn sea is freezing–but not as soon, not as much, not as thick, and not as fast.
After this year’s record-breaking mid-September thaw, the ice is coming back. But it is now seven weeks past minimum and there is still over half a million square kilometers of ice less on the water than there was on this date in 2007, the previous record low sea ice year.
Comparing this October to past Octobers (Regression Slope = -7.1%/decade).
Of course, the September comparison is the most dramatic (Regression Slope = -13%/decade).
Sources: National Snow and Ice Data Center, Japan Space Exploration Agency)