A satellite image of 2012’s last summer day on 9 September shows erosion means there is 0.6 million square kilometers less ice than the previous all-time low of 2007.
Researcher Ola M. Johannessen at the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center has prepared an analysis showing that summer sea ice will be gone from the Arctic in about 40 years.He emphasises this is a rough estimate which does not consider natural variations.
The measurements were carried out using satellite data.
Readers themselves can compare the melting ice in the Arctic on different dates using satellite images on the Nansen Center's website.
According to Mr Johannessen, increasing CO2 content in the atmosphere, a warm Arctic summer and a strong storm in August can be some of the reasons for this year’s sharp decline.
Another explanation is warming of the sea surface, which in turn comes from decreased reflection of radiation due to a shrinking ice.
Thus, a self-reinforcing effect is now hitting the Arctic ice: Less ice means more sea, a greater dark surface that absorbs heat, which enhances warming further. Read also: