On September 12, 2009, sea ice in the Arctic Ocean reached its minimum extent for 2009. Ice covered 5.10 million square kilometers of the Arctic Ocean. The average minimum between 1979 and 2000, outlined in yellow, was 6.71 million square kilometers. The 2009 minimum extent was 1.61 million square kilometers or 24 percent below average. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the 2009 sea ice minimum was the third lowest since the start of satellite measurements in 1979. The only two years with less sea ice were 2007 and 2008.