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6/04/2008

Artic Ice On Track For Extreme Melt

Arctic sea ice extent for May 2008 was 13.18 million square kilometers (5.09 million square miles). The magenta line shows the median ice extent for May from 1979 to 2000. Data Note
—Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center

The Arctic
Arctic sea ice extent has declined through the month of May as summer approaches. Daily ice extents in May continued to be below the long-term average and approached the low levels seen at this time last year. As discussed in our last posting, the spring ice cover is thin. One sign of thin and fairly weak ice is the formation of several polynyas in the ice pack.

Arctic sea ice extent for May stood at 13.18 million square kilometers (5.09 million square miles), which is 0.28 million square kilometers (0.11 million square miles) greater than May 2007, but is still 0.42 million square kilometers (0.16 million square miles) less than the 1979 to 2000 average for the month.
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