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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published November 06 2013

Weather Talk:Melting of Arctic sea ice during summer continues

Most of the region surrounding the North Pole experiences thawing weather during summer, causing some of the Arctic sea ice to melt. With the beginning of careful satellite measurements over the pole in 1979, there has been an observed increase in summer melting.

Starting in 1999, the rate of summer melting increased. This past summer, however, brought less melting than has been observed over the past few years. The melt this summer, however, still ranks as the sixth greatest since 1979. The change is due to a colder, more stormy weather pattern around the Arctic late in the summer and is not likely a reversal of the increasing melting trend.

It should be noted that Arctic winters remain cold, and the Arctic sea ice still refreezes each winter. However, there is considerably less ice at the end of each summer compared to 20 years ago. There is also a measurable thinning of the sea ice in the Arctic.

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