This summer’s Arctic sea-ice shrank to its second lowest ever extent in the era of satellite observation. The floes withdrew to just under 3.74 million sq km (1.44 million sq miles) last week, preliminary data indicates. The only time this minimum has been beaten in the 42-year spacecraft record was 2012 when the pack ice was reduced to 3.41 million sq km. Shorter autumn days and encroaching cold mean the floes are now starting to regrow.
It’s normal for Arctic sea-ice to expand through the winter each year and then melt back again in the summer, but the September minima, accounting for some variability, are getting deeper and deeper as the polar north warms.
The downward trend since satellites started routinely monitoring the floes is about 13% per decade, averaged across the month...Read More