Arctic Sea Ice at Maximum Extent for Winter Season 2022

By Christopher Readinger, USN
U.S. National Ice Center
March 22, 2022

The U.S. National Ice Center (USNIC) has determined the 2022 maximum Arctic sea ice extent occurred at the end of February 2022 with an area of 15.04 million square kilometers based on analysis from the USNIC’s Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS), used in the Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent (MASIE) product, jointly created with the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

Analyses for the 2022 winter season indicated a maximum 3-day average of 15.04 million square kilometers between 27 February and 01 March. USNIC maximum ice extent is determined based on a 3-day average to account for short-term spatial variability in the sea ice edge location. The 2022 Arctic sea ice extent maximum is the eighth lowest recorded since 2006 when this metric from IMS was first tracked consistently. The 2022 maximum occurred 9 days before the 16 year average maximum date of 9 March.

The USNIC analyst-driven IMS MASIE estimate is corroborated by the NSIDC, at the University of Colorado Boulder, announcing today that Arctic sea ice has likely reached its maximum extent for 2022, at 14.88 million square kilometers on 25 February. This estimate, slightly different from the USNIC estimate, is based on a 25-kilometer resolution ice concentration product from satellite microwave radiometers. The slight differences also stem from the varying missions of each institution, the methodology, and the spatial resolution of the data sources used to identify the presence of sea ice.

The NSIDC press release can be found here.
A related NASA feature has also been released today and can be found here.

Image of the Arctic
                 depicting maximum ice extent for 2022 along with median sea ice extent line
Figure 1: Maximum sea ice extent for 27 February - 01 March, 2022 as analyzed by USNIC’s IMS. The red dashed line shows the 1981-2010 median extent for 28 February as calculated by NSIDC.

To access daily products, weekly products, archival data and much more of USNIC data in various formats, visit the USNIC webpage at:

For more information, please contact:
National Ice Center
Command Duty Officer
Voice: (301) 943-6977
Twitter: @usnatice
Facebook: @usnatice

The U.S. National Ice Center is a tri-agency center operated by the Navy, NOAA, and Coast Guard and provides global to tactical scale ice and snow products, ice forecasting, and related environmental intelligence services for the United States government.

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