1.58 million sq. miles

National Snow and Ice Data Cener

Arctic sea ice extent for August 26, 2012 (right) was 4.10 million square kilometers (1.58 million square miles), which was 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 square miles) below the September 18, 2007 daily extent of 4.17 million square kilometers (1.61 million square miles)

That’s the current extent of Arctic sea ice, which has already melted to record low levels—despite the fact that there’s more than a month to go in the current summer season. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the current level breaks the record melt of 2007, when Arctic sea ice shrank to 1.61 million sq. miles. (The records are based on satellite data that goes back to 1979.) NSIDC noted that including 2012, the six lowest ice extents on the satellite record have occurred over the last six years.

The rapid melting of the Arctic sea ice—which hasn’t finished yet this year—is just another reminder of how fast the climate is changing, thanks chiefly to the ever-increasing amounts of greenhouse gases the world is pumping into the atmosphere. And it’s not the only thing melting in the Arctic—the ice sheets of Greenland, which add to ocean levels around the planet, have also experienced record melting. It’s getting hot on the roof of the world—and since Arctic sea ice helps moderate temperatures on the rest of the globe, that matters for all of us.

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5 comments
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nonpolitical
nonpolitical

The melting of greenland and artic ice is due to the climate but the climate change is not due to greenhousegases and definitely not by the small manmade part of CO2 which ia only part of the total amount of gases in the atmosphere!

ERenger
ERenger

Soon you'll be able to navigate the Northwest Passage on a stand-up paddleboard. It'll be a tropical paradise! Join the Franklin Expedition cabana club!

Francine_Rose
Francine_Rose

Time is about a week late with this story. Numerous outlets already called the record new low extent last week, e.g. http://www.guardian.co.uk/envi...http://www.thearcticinstitute...., and http://www.climatecentral.org/...

Christopher S. Johnson
Christopher S. Johnson

No, that was a prediction that it was very LIKELY to happen.  Then the Japanese made it official with their numbers on Friday (they measure slightly differently) and the official American numbers (NSIDC) only came in in the last 12-20 hours.