February ice cover in the Barents Sea has reached the minimum value in the history of satellite observations, reaching 400 thousand square kilometers against the "usual" 860 000, according to a statement on the website of the National Information Center for Snow and Ice (NSIDC) USA.
Satellite monitoring of sea ice in the Arctic is from 1979.
According to experts NSIDC, record shrinking of the ice in the Barents Sea was due to the fact that the air temperature in the region was higher than normal for the month at 4-8 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, in the Pacific sector of the Arctic temperatures were 3-5 degrees below normal seasonal weather, which led to the opposite record in the Bering Sea — where ice cover "out" on the second place among the highest level in the history of satellite observations.
According to the report, sea ice in the Arctic often reach the maximum area in late February — early March. Despite regional differences, in general, the area of perennial ice is reduced. The average area of ice cover in the Arctic over the past month was 14.56 million square kilometers, taking fifth place in a minimal record.
Earlier in December, specialists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the USA (NOAA) said that the Arctic appears to be entering a new phase of the climate, which is characterized, in particular, the progressive reduction of sea ice.
In September last year, scientists from the Norwegian Polar Institute said ice area very close to the record low of 2007. According to the scientists' observations, reducing not only the area of the Arctic ice cap, but its total mass, by reducing the thick perennial ice. Melting of the ice directly impacts on marine ecosystems, disrupting the usual conditions for the existence of phyto-and zooplankton, the underlying food chains.