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The extent of Arctic Ocean sea ice fell to its second-lowest size since 1979, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said on Thursday.
Although new evidence suggests that a long-term thawing of Arctic sea ice is currently under way, scientists withdrew previous prediction that the ice would shrink below a 2007 record low this year.
Many polar scientists believe that ice at the North Pole stands a good chance of completely disappearing over the course of the year. Some scientists say the ice at 90 degrees north may well have melted away by the summer.
There was less sea ice in the Arctic on Friday than ever before on record, and the melting is continuing, the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported.