The area of the perennial ice has been steadily decreasing since the satellite record began in 1979, at a rate of about 10 percent per decade. But the 2007 minimum, reached on September 14, is far below the previous record made in 2005 and is about 38 percent lower than the climatological average, according to NASA.
The NASA animation at left shows the 2005 sea ice minimum extent and fades to show the 2007 minimum extent. The state of California is placed in the melt region as a comparison of the area of the region.
Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio