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Arctic sea ice minimum in 2013 is sixth lowest on record

20 September 2013

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After an unusually cold summer in the northernmost latitudes, Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual minimum summer extent for 2013 on 13 September, the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado in Boulder has reported. Analysis of satellite data by NSIDC and NASA showed that the sea ice extent shrunk to 1.97 million square miles (5.10 million square kilometres).

This year's sea ice extent is substantially higher than last year's record low minimum. On 16 September 2012, Arctic sea ice reached its smallest extent ever recorded by satellites at 1.32 million square miles (3.41 million square kilometres). That is about half the size of the average minimum extent from 1981 to 2010.

This summer's minimum is still the sixth lowest extent of the satellite record and is 432,000 square miles (1.12 million square kilometres) lower than the 1981-2010 average, roughly the size of Texas and California combined.

Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

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