Conditions in context
During January 2010, ice extent grew at an average of 34,000 square kilometers (13,000 square miles) per day. Sea ice extent increased at a fairly steady rate in the early part of the month and then slowed towards the end of January. A brief slowdown in ice growth is not unusual during winter.
Looking over the entire season, this winter continues the recent trend of slower Arctic ice growth. During the 1980s, the average rate of ice growth for January was approximately 90,000 square kilometers (35,000 square miles) per day. In comparison, during the 1990s, the average rate of January growth fell to about 40,000 square kilometers (15,000 square miles) per day. Including 2010, the average for the 2000s is 39,000 square kilometers (15,000 square miles) per day.