Surprise! Southern Ocean Sea Ice Area Extent 2014

The Southern Ocean sea ice area extent reached a maximum on 20 September 2014 of 20.14 million square kilometers. This is the largest area extent determined for the period beginning in November 1978 of satellite observations; a surprising finding. Just what this may portend for the permafrost of Antarctica, southern South America, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia-Sandwich Islands for instance, no one knows. We well keep watching for what happens during next year's minimum area extent. PermafrostWatch is on watch. Data for the analysis comes from the NASA-Team algorithm daily values at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado. More information on the satellite-observation era variability of sea ice area extent can be found in R.R. Muskett, Non-stationary Drivers of Polar Sea Ice Area, Natural Science, 3 (5), pp. 351-368, 2011. doi:10.4236/ns.2011.35047.