According to NASA Arctic Sea Ice extent is still showing a shrinking trend. The thickness of Arctic ice is also reducing. Over the 2009 winter the Arctic had the fifth lowest maximum ice extent on record. The six lowest maximum events since satellite monitoring began in 1979 have all occurred in the past six years (2004-2009).
The composition of the sea ice continues to change. Thin seasonal ice that melts and re-freezes every year now makes up about 70 percent of the Arctic sea ice in wintertime, up from 40 to 50 percent in the 1980s and 1990s. Thicker ice, which survives two or more years, now comprises just 10 percent of wintertime ice cover, down from 30 to 40 percent. The maximum sea ice extent for 2008-09, reached on Feb. 28, was 5.85 million square miles. That is a reduction of 278,000 square miles from the average extent for 1979 to 2000. (See Arctic Sea Ice News for more info)
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