Arctic ice is set to hit a record low next week, according to U.S. climate scientists. Researchers from the National Snow and Ice Data Center used satellite data to determine that sea ice around the North Pole is on track to beat the previous record set in 2007. "A new daily record ... would be likely by the end of August," the NSIDC's lead scientist, Ted Scambos, told Reuters. Arctic ice acts as a kind of planetary air conditioner, reflecting about 80 percent of sunlight back into the atmosphere and helping to keep the earth cool. New data is prompting some scientists to predict an ice-free Arctic summer by the end of the decade.
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