Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Arctic sea ice at record low for third straight year

Arctic sea ice is at a record low for the third straight year. The measurements from the U.S.-based National Snow and Ice Data Center say the ice reached its maximum extent on March 7. It was the lowest level in the 38-year history of satellite record-keeping.

The sea ice encompassed 14.4 million square kilometres at its largest. Figures for both 2015 and 2016 were about 14.5 million square kilometres. The median figure for 1981 to 2010 was 15.6 million square kilometres. The NOAA said Arctic temperatures this winter were the highest they’d been since 1900 when records began. Average temperatures were two degrees warmer than the 1981-2010 average and 3.5 degrees warmer than 1900. Ocean temperatures off Greenland were five degrees higher than the 30-year average.

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