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Common Dreams

Arctic Sea Ice Shrinks To Smallest Ever: Satellite Data

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Common Dreams staff

Arctic sea ice shrank to record low Friday, August 24, 2012.

Arctic sea ice coverage  shrank to a record low 4.21 million square kilometers as of Friday, declining below the previous record low of 4.25 million sq. km marked in 2007, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said Saturday, citing satellite data.

And according to the latest report from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the extent of the Arctic sea ice in the first two weeks of August was below the record low daily ice extents registered in 2007 and by August 13, "ice extent was already among the four lowest summer minimum extents in the satellite record". The report states that there was a rapid ice loss between August 4 and August 8, which coincided with an intense storm in the Arctic Ocean.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said earlier this month that July was the fourth-hottest month on record worldwide.

Yet, an Obama aide on Thursday told The Hill that climate change would not surface as a main campaign topic, saying President Obama's positions on the matter are well-known.

“Clearly [climate change] is something that is important to the administration, but right now we are obviously going to be focusing on jobs and the economy and talking about what our contrast is,” said Tom Reynolds.

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