Federal scientists said summer Arctic sea ice shrank to its fourth lowest level on record this month, dispelling faint hopes of a recovery.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center announced Tuesday that the Arctic hit its summer minimum last week with 1.7 million square miles of sea ice, down 240,000 square miles from 2014.
Summer minimum sea ice has shrunk by about 38 percent since satellites started measuring in 1979. It reached an all-time low of 1.3 million square miles in 2012 and went back up to 1.95 in 2013 and staying near there in 2014.
Data center scientist Julienne Stroeve said data shows no recovery of Arctic sea ice. Instead, she said global warming shrinks ice cover over the long term, with yearly variations for weather.