Arctic Ice Cap 130,000 sq km smaller
The US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) reported that the Arctic Ice Cap is covering only 14.5m sq km of the northern seas.
This is 130,000 sq km smaller than the previous lowest maximum in 2011.
Arctic is melting
Climate change is driving declining ice coverage in the Arctic, with a recent study finding it has also become significantly thinner, down 65% since 1975.
The maximum extent is 1.10 million square kilometers (425,000 square miles) below the 1981 to 2010 average of 15.64 million square kilometers (6.04 million square miles) and 130,000 square kilometers (50,200 square miles) below the previous lowest maximum that occurred in 2011.
This year’s maximum occurred 15 days earlier than the 1981 to 2010 average date of March 12. The date of the maximum has varied considerably over the years, occurring as early as February 24 in 1996 and as late as April 2 in 2010.
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