Sea Ice Is Declining Steadily in Antarctica

The sea ice in Antarctica continues its record minimum course. Satellite data from the Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP) at the University of Bremen show that the extent of sea ice there has currently fallen to the lowest value ever measured.

Current satellite data from the Antarctic are evaluated by the Institute of Environmental Physics, among others. Satellite recordings began 50 years ago. “The new record low in 2023 after the lowest levels in 2017 and 2022 shows that Antarctica is also showing signs of a greater change in sea ice,” says Dr. Gunnar Spreen (IUP). While Arctic sea ice has been retreating in recent decades, Antarctic sea ice cover was still very stable and showed little change until a few years ago. The researchers consider the rapid decline in sea ice in recent years to be very astonishing, because the ice cover had hardly changed over the previous 35 years.

For the past eight consecutive years, however, the minimum has always been below the long-term average. In the first half of February 2023, the figure fell below the 2022 minimum, and the extent of sea ice is currently falling even further. The annual minimum value is typically reached in the Antarctic toward the end of February. This decrease is not evenly distributed throughout the Antarctic, but shows strong regional differences.

Further details and causes are discussed by researchers from various institutions – including the University of Bremen – at the sea ice portal:

Further Information:


Dr. Gunnar Spreen
Universität Bremen
Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP)
Telefon: +49 421 218-62158
E-Mail: gunnar.spreenprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de



sea ice in Antarctica
Stable until a few years ago, but now rapidly declining: sea ice in Antarctica. Photo: Adobe Stock/Alexander