article Discovery News
Arctic sea ice melted over the summer to cover the third smallest area on record, US researchers said on Wednesday, warning global warming could leave the region ice free in the month of September 2030.
Last week, at the end of the spring and summer “melt season” in the Arctic, sea ice covered 1.8 million square miles, the University of Colorado’s National Snow and Ice Data Center said in an annual report.
“This is only the third time in the satellite record that ice extent has fallen below 1.93 million square miles, and all those occurrences have been within the past four years,” the report said.
A separate report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that in August, too, Arctic sea ice coverage was down sharply, covering an average of 2.3 million square miles, or 22 percent below the average extent from 1979 to 2000.
The August coverage was the second lowest for Arctic sea ice since records began in 1979. Only 2007 saw a smaller area of the northern sea covered in ice in August, NOAA said.