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Arctic sea ice trend still downwards.

ARCTIC sea ice has melted to the fourth lowest levels on record, reinforcing the long-term downward trend in ice cover in the polar region, scientists said.

The extent of the ice at the end of the annual summer melt shrank to close to lows seen in 2007 and 2011 and well below the average minimum for 1981 to 2010, but not as extreme as in current record year 2012, preliminary findings from the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) showed.

The nine lowest levels of cover at the end of the summer melt recorded by satellites have all occurred in the last nine years.

Increasing melting in the Arctic is making the region more accessible to ships, fishing and oil exploration, and both the Northern Sea Route, along the coast of Russia, and the Northwest Passage are open.

Dr Colin Summerhayes, emeritus associate at the Scott Polar Research Institute, said: "There will always be some years when the amount of sea ice is above the downward trend line and some years when it is below. But the trend line continues to fall, as forecast."

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Sep 17, 2015
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