The Arctic ice cap, critical to the stability of the global climate, is melting away. Scientists have recorded new minima in total ice volume and area. Arctic ice volume, estimated by the Polar Science Center at the University of Washington, plummeted to 4275 cubic kilometers by the end of August, well below the 2010 record minimum of 4428 cubic km:
On September 6, Arctic sea ice area fell to 2,917,493 square km, 2000 square km below the previous record of September 7, 2007:
Arctic sea ice extent, as measured by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, has not yet reached its minimum for the year, and it it unknown whether 2007′s record minimum will be broken.