The role of sea ice in the Earth climate system is still under debate, although it is known to influence albedo, ocean circulation, and atmosphere-ocean heat and gas exchange. Here we present a reconstruction of AD1950 to 1998 sea ice in the Laptev Sea based on the Akademii Nauk ice core (Severnaya Zemlya, Russian Arctic). The halogens bromine (Br) and iodine (I) are strongly influenced by sea ice processes. Bromine reacts with the sea ice surface in auto-catalyzing “Bromine explosion” events causing an enrichment of the Br / Na ratio and the bromine excess (Brexc) in snow compared to that in seawater. Iodine is emitted from algal communities growing under sea ice. The results suggest a connection between Brexc and spring sea ice area, as well as a connection between iodine concentration and summer sea ice area. These two halogens are therefore good candidates for extended reconstructions of past sea ice changes in the Arctic.