Arctic sea ice extent is the lowest ever recorded for the first half of June, reports the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Sunny, warm weather over the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska is one of the big causes, says the center, which points out that it's still too early in summer to forecast the extent of ice loss for the remainder of summer.
Scientists cautioned that it is still early in the "melt season" but said that the latest observations suggest that the Arctic sea ice cover is continuing to shrink and thin and the pattern of record annual melts seen since 2000 is now well established. Last year saw the second greatest sea ice melt on record, 36% below the average minimum from 1979 to 2000.
"Recent ice loss rates have been (38,600 to 57,900 square miles) per day, which is more than double the climatological rate. While the extent is at a record low for the date, it is still early in the melt season. Changing weather patterns throughout the summer will affect the exact trajectory of the sea ice extent through the rest of the melt season," said a spokesman for the NSIDC.
Read more at The Guardian: Arctic sea-ice levels at record low for June