Arctic sea ice melts at fastest rate for 40 years

The area covered by Arctic sea ice reached its lowest point this week since the start of satellite observations in 1972.

“On September 8, the extent of the Arctic sea ice was 4.240 million square kilometres (1.637 million square miles). This is a new historic minimum,” said Georg Heygster, head of the Physical Analysis of Remote Sensing Images unit at the University of Bremen’s Institute of Environmental Physics in Germany.

The new mark is about half-a-per cent under his team’s measurements of the previous record, which occurred on September 16, 2007, he said.

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