Arctic sea ice cover decline slows down temporarily: NASA

Washington: The decline of the Arctic sea ice cover may have temporarily slowed down, despite climate change and global warming, a NASA study has found. As temperatures in the Arctic have warmed at double the pace of the rest of the planet, the expanse of frozen seawater that blankets the Arctic Ocean and neighbouring seas has shrunk and thinned over the past three decades.

The end-of-summer Arctic sea ice extent has almost halved since the early 1980s. A recent NASA study found that since 1958, the Arctic sea ice cover has lost on average around two-thirds of its thickness and now 70% of the sea ice cap is made of seasonal ice, or ice that forms and melts within a single year.

However, at the same time that sea ice is vanishing quicker than it has ever been observed in the satellite record, it is also thickening at a faster rate during winter. This increase in growth rate might last for decades, a new study accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters found. This does not mean that the ice cover is recovering, though. It us just delaying its demise, researchers said.

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