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Arctic ice melting to a record low, scientists warn

22 Aug 2012

The Independent

STEVE CONNOR

The area of the Arctic Ocean covered by floating sea ice is likely to hit a record low next week, with the melting due to continue well into September, according to researchers monitoring the region by satellite.

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Arctic sea ice partially melts each summer and reforms again in the winter, but over the past 35 years of satellite readings the summer retreat has been getting significantly greater, with a record summer minimum recorded in September 2007.

However, scientists at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado, said that this summer's melt season in the Arctic has been so rapid and extensive that 2012 will almost certainly see sea ice coverage reach a new low.

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