photo: NASA ICE/CC BY
A new assessment of the total volume of Arctic sea ice last summer--that is, taking into account both the area of sea covered with ice and the thickness of that ice--shows that 2010 set a new record low, beating out 2007 for the record minimum. Reuters say the researchers, from the University of Washington, used a model based off observations of wind, air and ocean temperatures to make the determination of total sea ice volume.
In 2007 the minimum Arctic sea ice extent was 4.13 million square kilometers. Three decades earlier it was roughly 7 million square kilometers.To date in 2011, Arctic sea ice has fallen to 4.6 million square kilometers. July saw a new record low for the month and sea ice may set a new record minimum for the year as well.
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