The Arctic’s summer ice melt has begun — earlier than ever.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center reported Friday that Arctic sea ice reached its maximum extent on Feb. 25.
That extent covered about half a million square miles less than average — and it maxed out two weeks sooner than normal.
The Data Center says ice is still growing in parts of the Bering Sea — and there could be some spikes later in the season. But they don’t think the overall extent will see a major increase again this season, especially further north.
The Arctic saw lower than average ice conditions across the board this year, except in the Labrador and Davis straits.