So what does this new record for the lowest level of winter ice actually mean?
The Arctic Ocean freezes every winter and much of the sea-ice then thaws every summer, and that process will continue whatever happens with climate change. Even if the Arctic continues to be one of the fastest-warming
For a start, it does not automatically follow that a record amount of ice will melt this summer. More important for determining the size of the annual thaw is the state of the weather as the midnight sun approaches and temperatures rise. But over the more than 30 years of satellite records, scientists have observed a clear pattern of decline, decade-by-decade.