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Arctic sea ice falls to second lowest level on record

Arctic sea ice has melted to the second lowest level on record after a "crazy" year of heatwaves and forest fires in the region, scientists have said. Click here to read the full story.

The extent of the sea ice in the Arctic at what is thought to be the end of the annual summer melt was 1.44 million square miles (3.74 million square kilometres), the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in the US said.

It is the second lowest minimum extent of sea ice cover at the end of the summer in a nearly 42-year satellite record, with only 2012 seeing ice cover falling to a lower minimum before ice refreezes in the autumn.

This year is only the second time that the minimum summer sea ice extent has fallen below four million square kilometres since satellite monitoring began in 1979, the scientists said.

Mark Serreze, director of NSIDC, said: "It's been a crazy year up north, with sea ice at a near-record low, 100-degree (Fahrenheit) heat waves in Siberia, and massive forest fires.

"The year 2020 will stand as an exclamation point on the downward trend in Arctic sea ice extent."

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