Last month Arctic sea ice shrunk by an area the size of Alaska when compared to historical averages, according to a new study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. By 2040, summer ice could disappear altogether.
The Arctic may be close to a tipping point that sees all-year-round ice disappear very rapidly in the next few decades, U.S. scientists have warned.
The latest data presented at the American Geophysical Union fall meeting suggests the ice is no longer showing a robust recovery from the summer melt.
Last month, the sea that was frozen covered an area that was 2 million square kilometers [772,000 square miles] less than the historical average.
“That’s an area the size of Alaska,” said leading ice expert Mark Serreze.
“We’re no longer recovering well in autumn anymore. The ice pack may now be starting to get preconditioned, perhaps to show very rapid losses in the near future,” the University of Colorado researcher added.