data analyzed by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, has shown
that the extent of Arctic sea-ice is looking to reach a record minimum
this Summer. The latest data suggests that Arctic Summer Sea-Ice is
already 483,000 sq km below the previous record low (set in 2007). The ice is expected to continue to melt until mid September.
So what is Sea Ice Extent?
Sea Ice extent is defined as the area of the Arctic sea that contains
some Sea Ice. Areas with less than 15% Sea Ice are defined as marking
the edge of the ice.
So why is the melt this year so high?
Some sea-ice melts every Summer, as part of a natural process. This
year several large storms increased the rate of melting to double over a
few days. However the general trend over the last few years has been
increased melting of Arctic Sea Ice. Aside from isolated events such as
the storms increasing the rate of melt, there are several theories as to
why the melt amount is increasing each year. Anthropogenic emissions
speeding global Climate change is one such theory, and Natural Cycles
Why is the Arctic Sea Ice Important?
Arctic Sea Ice helps to control global Environment. The colour of the
ice surface relfects around 80% of sunlight reaching the Northern Pole
area back into space , and the more the Sea Ice Melts, the more energy
from the Sun is absorbed into the Arctic Ocean, driving chemical changes
which are harmful to the ecology of the Ocean (which in turn can have