Snow, glaciers and permafrost are of great importance for Switzerland. Their changes are documented by detailed measurements. This web portal shows and explains selected long-term measurement series of the cryosphere.more

Image: NASA Earth Observatory, Jesse Allen and Robert Simmonmore

Arctic sea ice

A better year for the cryosphere

Arctic sea ice extent reached its annual minimum on September 13. After the minimum, extent remained largely unchanged for much of the middle of September, but increased rapidly toward the end of the month with the onset of strong autumn cooling.

Teaser: Arctic sea ice

Arctic sea ice extent averaged for September 2013 was 5.35 million square kilometers (2.07 million square miles). This was 1.17 million square kilometers (452,000 square miles) below the 1981 to 2010 average extent. September 2013 ice extent was 1.72 million square kilometers (664,000 square miles) higher than the previous record low for the month that occurred in 2012.


> Arctic sea ice extent for September 2013

> Arctic sea ice extent as of September 30, 2013, in comparison to daily ice extent data for the previous five years

> Average Monthly Arctic Sea Ice Extent September 1979-2013

Source and further information:
> National Snow & Ice Data Center


  • Cryosphere
  • Sea ice