Arctic sea ice shrinks to smallest winter size in 35 years

Arctic sea ice has set a new winter record by freezing to the smallest maximum extent in satellite records dating back to 1979 in new evidence of long-term climate change, U.S. data showed on Thursday. At its maximum, sea ice covered 5.61 million square miles of the northern oceans on Feb. 25—about 425,000 square miles below the average from 1981 to 2010, a loss equal to more than twice the size of Sweden.

This is further evidence that global warming and its impacts have not stopped despite the inaccurate and misleading claims of climate change ‘skeptics.’

Bob Ward of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change

Environmentalists said the report offered more evidence of worsening global warming, and urged action to curb the burning of fossil fuels that send greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. They also warned that Arctic summertime ice could vanish in the second half of the century. The thaw is affecting animals and indigenous lifestyles in the Arctic, and making the region more accessible for oil and gas exploration, mining, shipping and tourism.

Today’s chilling news from the Arctic should be a wakeup call for all of us.

Samantha Smith, leader of the WWF Global Climate and Energy Initiative