"Despite a late-season boost from the cold weather patterns similar to those that blasted England with terrific storms in February, Arctic sea ice is still on a long-term decline, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
The Arctic ice cap expands every winter and shrinks every summer, in response to changing temperatures, sunlight and weather conditions. The sea ice hit its annual peak on March 21, covering 5.76 million square miles (14.91 million square kilometers), the NSIDC reported last week. That's the fifth-lowest maximum extent since satellite record keeping started in 1979.
But until mid-March, researchers monitoring the icy blanket's annual growth thought the sea ice would be even smaller this year."