Jackie Richter-Menge describes the "Arctic amplification" phenomenon: how the loss of Arctic sea ice leads to further warming.

In the mid-1980s, the winter sea ice pack in the Arctic was dominated by multi-year ice—ice that had survived at least one summer melt. Today, less than half of the sea ice at winter maximum has survived at least one summer.

The low ice extent recorded this September continued the downward trend seen over the last 30 years. Meanwhile, scientists are finding that the ice cover has grown thinner, making it more vulnerable to melting during the summer.

Minimum sea ice extent observed by satellites each September has decreased by 13 percent per decade since the late 1970s. All six of the smallest September minimum ice extents have occurred in the last six years. 

Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis

On September 27, 2013, Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presented its report to member governments for approval and acceptance. The report is the first of four that will make up the IPCC's 5th Assessment.


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