Satellites reveal exceptionally low sea ice extent in November

For the globe as a whole, sea ice cover in November was exceptionally low. Average Arctic sea ice extent for November set a record low – remaining more than two standard deviations lower than the long-term average since October. Antarctic sea also set a record low for November – remaining more than two standard deviations below the average for the whole month.  The low Arctic resulted from unusually high air temperatures, winds from the south, and a warm ocean. In November 2016, Arctic sea ice extent averaged 9.08 million square kilometers, the lowest November in the satellite record and 1.95 million square kilometers below the 1981 to 2010 long-term average for November. For the month, ice extent was 3.2 standard deviations below the long-term average. For a brief period in the middle the month, total ice extent decreased by 50,000 square kilometers — which has only happened once in November over the period of satellite observations. National Snow and Ice Data Center