This visualization of satellite data reveals seasonal patterns and long-term trends in the distribution of sea ice across the Arctic Ocean. Arctic sea ice reaches its lowest annual extent in September, after the warmth of summer. Sea ice in September 2007 hit a record low—50 percent smaller than it was in 1979, the first September that satellites measured sea ice. The significant downward trend of sea ice seen in recent years exceeds computer-model predictions of the effects of global warming.
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