In the Arctic Ocean, autumn doesn’t mean colorful leaves or harvesting pumpkins and apples. It means that the ice bobbing atop the sea around the North Pole is at its minimum after melting through the summer.
This autumn, new records are being set for the minimum amount of sea ice in the Arctic. On August 26, the extent of ice diminished to less than it has ever been -- at least in the 30 years we've been watching it with satellites.
And a new record has been set every day since then as the amount of sea ice continues to fall. On Sept 5, the amount of sea ice fell below 4 million square kilometers. It’s expected to keep declining until cooler temperatures of fall set in.
To answer your burning questions about ice and climate, check out Icelights
A NASA Global Climate Change News Story
puts this record setting in context:
"By itself it's just a number, and occasionally records are going to get set," NSIDC research scientist Walt Meier said about the new record. "But in the context of what's happened in the last several years and throughout the satellite record, it's an indication that the Arctic sea ice cover is fundamentally changing."