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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Arctic Sea Ice Is At Its Lowest Levels Ever

•, Wynne Parry,

However, the ice is unlikely to stop shrinking. Arctic sea melts through the summer usually reaching its annual minimum in September.

On Sunday (Aug. 26), Arctic sea-ice extent fell to 1.58 million square miles (4.10 million square kilometers), surpassing the previous low, set on Sept. 18, 2007, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reports. Sea-ice extent refers to the area of ocean covered at least 15 percent by sea ice, according to the NSIDC.

The record low, set in 2007, stood at 1.61 square miles (4.17 square kilometers).

But this year's melt is unlikely to stop soon. The melt season still has another two or three weeks to go.
Continuous satellite records of sea-ice extent began in 1979. But in recent years, satellite data have shown a shift in the fluctuating ice cover. For example, including this year, the six lowest ice extents in the satellite record have occurred in the last six years, the NSIDC reports.

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