The new report says the world's ice caps and glaciers are melting fast, and will melt faster NASA and the NSIDC have released their preliminary report on Arctic sea ice minimum for 2018, the sixth lowest on record. (Patricia Bell-CBC)

Arctic sea ice retreat 2018

Not a record low, but nearly.

The Arctic ice is reported to have reached its annual minimum for the summer season.

In a preliminary report, NASA and the US-National Snow and Ice Data Center reported that on September 28, Arctic ice had retreated to just over 4.5 million square kilometres in area.

While not a new record, it does constitute the sixth lowest extent and matches lows of 2008 and 2010.

Showing this year’s ice minimum compared to 1981-2010 average (NSIDC)

However there may have been more retreat in this final week before the angle of the sun and falling temperatures now mean the sea-ice cover will begin to expand. The NSIDC also said a late season shift in wind patterns could still push melting a bit more.

The record low for ice coverage was in 2012.

The NSIDC also noted that this preliminary report shows the seasonal minimum occurring about a week later than the 1981-2010 average of September 14

The 12 lowest minimums in the the 40 year satellite record have all occurred in the last 12 years.

NASA time lapse and explanation of measurement (3.10) YouTube

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