As Arctic summers go, 2012 is on track to be a record breaker. Both the sea ice and the Greenland ice sheet are shrinking to new lows this year. September 2007 currently holds the record for the lowest extent of Arctic sea ice, at least since satellite records began in 1979, and probably before. The melt made headlines that year, as it opened the fabled Northwest Passage – which runs north of Canada and Alaska.
2007 has become the benchmark for low Arctic ice cover, until now. Ice extent is currently smaller than it was in late August 2007. Based on the latest data it could shrink below the 2007 minimum within days. Learn more here.