It’s official. Nearly a month before we see the usual “seasonal low” of Arctic sea ice as it melts throughout the summer, we have hit the record low for sea ice extent.
This means that there is now less Arctic sea ice than at any time since records began in 1978. And we still have nearly a month of additional melting to go before the autumn ice sets in.
This is due to climate change. More dark ocean water means more heat absorbed by the ocean and a chance for reinforcing these lower ice levels in seasons to come. What will this mean for ecosystems? What will this mean for those who want to exploit the uncovered mineral and shipping resources of the Arctic? What will this mean for our oceans?
This image from RealClimate shows the new low level: