Arctic sea ice hit its lowest recorded level on Sunday and could fall even lower before the end of the year, U.S. climate researchers said this week. Using satellite measurements, scientists from the National Snow and Ice Data Center confirmed that a mere 1.58 million square miles of the Arctic is covered at least 15 percent by sea ice, breaking the previous low, recorded in 2007. And the melt isn't over yet: Ice at the planet's northern extreme typically continues melting through the summer, not reaching its annual minimum until September. Besides providing habitat for ice-dwelling animals like polar bears and walruses, light-colored sea ice helps keep the planet cool by reflecting solar energy back into space. The NSIDC said this year's melt has been significantly faster than normal.
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.Contribute to Outside →
Filed To: News