Near record low Arctic sea ice

The sea ice in the Arctic is decreasing and opening up for new shipping routes.

Russian metrological service says the Northern Sea Route is now completely ice-free. The ice will melt for another two weeks.


The Arctic ice-cap is currently 32 percent below normal according to Rosgidromet, Russia’s metrological service.

- Vessels can sail the Northern Sea Route without being escorted by icebreakers, says deputy hgead of Rosgidromet Valery Dyadyuchenko to RIA Novosti. He says the Northern Sea Route has been absolutely free of ice for the last 15 days and will be so for the next 15 days also.

The extent of the Arctic sea ice is now record low at 4.240 million sqare kilomters, breaking its 2007 record low of 4.267 million square kilometres, according to a report published researchers at the University of Bremen in Germany.

Another study published this week by scientists at the International Arctic Research Centre at the University of Alaska says the sea ice covers 4.340 million square kilometres, the second lowest ever recorded after the 2007 summer season melt, reports Science News.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently published an assessment report stating that the entire Arctic could be largely ice free 30 to 40 years from now.