Analysis of satellite data by NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and NASA showed that the sea ice extent shrunk to 1.97 million square miles (5.10 million square kilometers).
This year's sea ice extent is substantially higher than last year's record low minimum. On Sept.16, 2012, Arctic sea ice reached its smallest extent ever recorded by satellites at 1.32 million square miles (3.41 million square kilometers). That is about half the size of the average minimum extent from 1981 to 2010.
This summer's minimum is still the sixth lowest extent of the satellite record and is 432,000 square miles (1.12 million square kilometers) lower than the 1981-2010 average, roughly the size of Texas and California combined.
The 2013 summertime minimum extent is in line with the long-term downward trend of about 12 percent per decade since the late 1970s, a decline that has accelerated after 2007.
This year's rebound from 2012 does not disagree with this downward trend and is not a surprise to scientists.
--ANI (Posted on 21-09-2013)