End of year heat wave slowed expansion
Arctic sea ice extent in December ended up as the fourth-lowest on record, and is still hovering near a record low in mid-January, according to the latest monthly update from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Through 2015, the linear rate of decline for December sea ice extent is 3.4 percent per decade (about 17,000 miles) per year.
For the month, the sea ice extent averaged 4.74 million square miles, about 301,000 square miles below the 1981 to 2010 average for the month. The rate of sea ice growth slowed slightly throughout December and nearly stopped early in January, federal ice trackers said, suspecting that a period of unusually warm temperatures in the Arctic caused the slowdown. Continue reading
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