Arctic sea ice continued to track at levels far below average through the middle of July, with open water in the Kara and Barents seas reaching as far north as typically seen during September. Melt onset began earlier than normal throughout most of the Arctic.
Overview of conditions
As of July 23, 2012, sea ice extent was 7.32 million square kilometers (2.82 million square miles). On the same day last year, ice extent was 7.22 million square kilometers (2.78 million square miles), the record low for this day.
Arctic sea ice extent continued to track at very low levels, setting daily record lows for the satellite era for a few days in early July. Extent is especially low in the Barents, Kara, and Laptev seas. In the Barents and Kara seas, the area of open water extends to the north coasts of Franz Josef…
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