Arctic ice minimum extent, 2011

Arctic ice minimum extent, 2011

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Credit: NASA/GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER SVS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Arctic ice minimum extent. Satellite image showing the Arctic polar ice cap at its annual minimum extent on 9th September 2011. The Arctic sea ice (white) reaches a minimum in September, at the end of the Arctic summer. This minimal ice area is called the perennial ice cover. The perennial ice has been steadily decreasing since satellites began observing it in 1979, at a rate of about 10 percent per decade. This was the second lowest recorded minimum, at just over 4.3 million square kilometres. This decrease is attributed to global warming. Data from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSMI) instrument on the US Air Force's Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP).

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