"Only 2012 had less sea ice coverage, scientists say, as climate change takes its toll in the region."
"A “crazy year” in the Arctic has resulted in the second-lowest extent of sea ice in the region, scientists said Monday.
Researchers with the National Snow and Ice Data Center said the minimum was most likely reached on Sept. 15, with 1.44 million square miles of ocean covered in ice. Since then, with temperatures falling and new ice forming, coverage has been increasing.
Since satellite measurements of sea ice began four decades ago, only 2012 has had a lower minimum, when 1.32 million square miles were measured. The 2020 minimum was nearly a million square miles less than the average annual minimum between 1981 and 2010.
This year also continues an alarming streak: The 14 lowest ice years have occurred in the past 14 years. Many scientists expect that the Arctic could be devoid of ice in summers well before midcentury."