On September 17, the Arctic sea ice coverage hit its minimum for the year. This was the the sixth-lowest ever recorded. The Arctic sea ice floats in the water body around the North Pole region. The size of the coverage has been recorded by scientists since 1979. The lowest ever recorded was in 2012. The ice cover in the Arctic melts and decreases in the summer months, and it refreezes and increases in the winter months. Usually, the largest sea ice cover over the Arctic is in the month of March, and the lowest is in the month of September.
The Arctic sea ice is very important. It acts like our planet’s air conditioner and helps control Earth’s climate. The sea ice reflects back into space a large percentage of sunlight that reaches the ice. The ocean surface without the ice cover would absorb a large percentage of the sunlight, which in turn would make the water warmer, and melt more ice.
Here are a couple of videos.
Image Credits: http://www.nasa.gov/ for the Arctic sea ice image