It’s far too early to be sure about this yet, but it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that the 2017 maximum is already in place. Here’s our favourite high resolution extent graph calculated by “Wipneus” from University of Hamburg/JAXA AMSR2 data:
The current maximum Arctic sea ice extent for 2017 is 13.49 million square kilometers on February 19th. Here’s Arctic sea ice area for good measure:
The current maximum area for 2017 is 12.88 million square kilometers on February 20th. Here also is the NSIDC’s 5 day averaged extent:
This reveals a current maximum extent for 2017 of 14.302 million square kilometers on February 20th.
Here are the high resolution AMSR2 area and extent graphs for the end of February:
With each day that passes the highs of February 19th/20th look more likely to have been this years maximum. Nonetheless past experience suggests it’s still far to soon to be sure about that.
Arctic sea ice area and extent are declining again, having reached new heights for the year on March 3rd:
However the 2013/14 winter showed a late surge is still possible.
A “late surge” is looking increasingly unlikely. That being the case, here is our provisional long term graph of NSIDC daily Arctic sea ice extent:
Subject to an unanticipated “surge” the 2017 maximum of 14.447 million square kilometers occurred on March 5th.
JAXA extent has dropped steeply over the last couple of days, and it is now once again “lowest for the date since records began”:
The 2017 JAXA maximum of 13.878 million square kilometers occurred on March 6th.
In the continuing absence of updates to Cryosphere Today area, here’s the high resolution Arctic sea ice area graph calculated by “Wipneus” from University of Hamburg/JAXA AMSR2 data:
The maximum for that particular metric was 13.03 million square kilometers on March 3rd.
Watch this space!