A week has passed by since the melting season ended and the minimum on all sea ice extent and area graphs has been reached. During this week I've been collecting images that show various aspects of this year's melting story, which will be accompanied by short explanations/interpretations.
Such an overview must inevitably start with an image showing the shape of the ice pack, and the University of Bremen has put up a great sea ice concentration map that also shows the ice pack outlines at the end of record melting seasons 2007 and 2012, as well as the 1981-2010 average:
2012 (cyan) clearly had less ice, but there are a couple of spots where this year had less ice than in 2007 (red). The September graph for ADS-NIPR/JAXA sea ice extent shows how close 2015 came to the lower years, slipping right below 2011 and ending in 3rd position:
The same can't be said of the Cryosphere Today sea ice area graph. 2015 ended relatively low there too, but at the top of the bundle of trend lines, in 6th position: