noaa.gov

Can the ocean freeze?

Ocean water freezes at a lower temperature than freshwater.

The Arctic

At least 15 percent of the ocean is covered by sea ice some part of the year.

Ocean water freezes just like freshwater, but at lower temperatures. Fresh water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit but seawater freezes at about 28.4 degrees Fahrenheit, because of the salt in it. When seawater freezes, however, the ice contains very little salt because only the water part freezes. It can be melted down to use as drinking water.

At least 15 percent of the ocean is covered by sea ice some part of the year. On average, sea ice covers almost about 10 million square miles of the Earth.

Sea water becomes more and more dense as it becomes colder, right down to its freezing point. Fresh water, on the other hand, is most dense while still at 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit, well above the freezing point. The average temperature of all ocean water is about 38.3 degrees Fahrenheit.