Antarctic ice. Credit: pxhere

Antarctic sea ice at a long-term minimum

February 2022

Antarctic ice. Credit: pxhere
Antarctic ice. Credit: pxhere

The Antarctic ice is completing the seasonal melting phase, following the Antarctic summer. The extent of the sea ice at the end of February 2022 is the lowest in the last 44 years - the period when satellites have been used to monitor the ice.

Last Updated

16 March 2022

Published on

02 March 2022

By Signe Aaboe and Thomas Lavergne (MET Norway), Christine Träger-Chatterjee (EUMETSAT)

The Satellite Application Facility on Ocean and Sea Ice (OSI SAF) is producing several satellite-derived products to monitor the evolution of sea ice in polar regions.

In February 2022 the OSI SAF Sea Ice Index (Figure 1) showed that the extent of the Antarctic sea ice was at its lowest since the beginning of satellite-based observations in 1979 (Figure 2).

Antarctic Sea Ice Index 2022
Figure 1: The Antarctic Sea Ice Index. Yellow line shows previous record minimum year (2017), red line shows the recent measurements
Monthly index since the beginning of the record
Figure 2: The monthly index since the beginning of the record. The numbers show the rank for that month from 1 (least ice) to 44 (most ice).

The Sea Ice Index is a climate indicator of sea-ice coverage. It is derived from the OSI SAF Global Sea Ice Concentration data, with contributions from ESA CCI.

The index covers both the sea-ice extent and area over the last 40+ years and is continuously updated to present time. It consists of an updated series of graphs visualising the trends and evolution of sea ice at hemispheric, global and regional scales. In addition, the data files are available for users who are interested in analysing and plotting the data themselves.

Access graphs and data

Met No will be monitoring the progress of the season and updating on the status of the sea ice on their cryo website.


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Antarctic sea ice reaches new record-low in February 2022 (MET Norway)