According to measurements from NASA and the Center for Snow and Ice of the United States, the extent of sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean has shrunk to the smallest size ever observed in three decades.
96 hours ago the ice surface reached 4.1 million square kilometers (km2), 70,000 km2 less than the previous record of September 16, 2007.
By increasing the melting of Arctic ice, there are factors that accelerate the process. The ice reflects the light of the sun, but it melts and goes directly to the water, which absorbs more heat and helps to melt more ice. An endless cycle.
The position of the Arctic in Earth, does not help, by being close to the mainland, is more sensitive to land temperature changes. This does not happen in the Antarctic since it has higher altitudes and is isolated from residential areas.
Ice is crucial for wildlife as it keeps the polar region and helps moderate climate. Its disappearance not only increases the level of the sea, but opens up new shipping routes, giving access to oil and gas and, incidentally, promoting potential border disputes.
This year, the sea route between Europe and Siberia has become more open. At least 20 vessels will travel to north Russia from the north of the Bering Strait.
The phenomenon is so unusual since space observations began 30 years ago; researchers thought that it was a mistake. However, three satellites in July 8 showed that the thaw had affected 40% of the surface and four days after most of the island had some degree of fusion. Scientists see evidence that the phenomenon is accelerated global warming.