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Arctic ice declines to record low volumes in almost 40 years

February 17, 17:55 UTC+3 GENEVA

The recovery period for Arctic sea ice is normally in the winter, when it gains both in volume and extent

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© Artiom Geodakyan/TASS

GENEVA, February 17. /TASS/. Arctic sea volumes declined to a record low figure in January 2017 because of global warming, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Friday.

"The extended spell of high global temperatures is continuing, with the Arctic witnessing exceptional warmth and - as a result - record low Arctic sea ice volumes for this time of year," the WMO said in its bulletin. "Sea ice extent was the lowest on the 38-year-old satellite record for the month of January, both at the Arctic and Antarctic," the WMO reported. Arctic sea ice extent averaged 13.38 million square kilometers in January 2017, nearly 260,000 square kilometers smaller than last January.

"Temperatures in the Arctic are quite remarkable and very alarming," said World Climate Research Program Director David Carlson. "The rate of change in the Arctic and resulting shifts in wider atmospheric circulation patterns, which affect weather in other parts of the world, are pushing climate science to its limits," he added.

"The recovery period for Arctic sea ice is normally in the winter, when it gains both in volume and extent. The recovery this winter has been fragile, at best, and there were some days in January when temperatures were actually above melting point," Carlson said. "This will have serious implications for Arctic sea ice extent in summer as well as for the global climate system," the expert added.

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