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Sea Ice Decline

The Arctic is warming two to three times as fast as the rest of the planet and has seen a dramatic decline of sea ice as a result. Since satellite records began in 1978, summer and autumn sea ice extent has decreased approximately 50 percent, an amount roughly equal to half the area of the continental United States. A new record for minimum area of Arctic sea ice was set in 2012, and back-to-back records were set in 2015 and 2016 for the lowest maximum sea ice extent (which typically occurs in March). The decline is unprecedented in the modern record and is consistent with human-induced climate change.

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