NPR logo
Sea Ice to Hit a Record Low in Arctic
  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Sea Ice to Hit a Record Low in Arctic



It's not just hot in Phoenix. In the Arctic, this summer, the area covered by sea ice is expected to hit a record low. Measurements taken this month by the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center showed the amount of sea ice about 30 percent below the long-term average.

The level of sea ice is an important factor in climate change. As ice vanishes and is replaced by open water, an important cooling mechanism also disappears. Bright, white ice reflects about 80 percent of the sunlight that reaches it, while the ocean absorbs 90 percent.

Last year, a study by U.S. researchers suggested the Arctic may have no ice in the summer by the year 2040.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.