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28 September 2005
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Sea Ice Decline Intensifies

Figure 1: September extent trend, 1978-2005

Figure 1: September extent trend, 1978-2005

This graph depicts the decline in sea ice extent from 1978-2005. The September trend from 1979 to 2005, now showing a decline of more than 8 percent per decade, is shown with a straight blue line.

The value for 2005 is based on date through September 25; after this date, we assume that ice growth rates are typical for this time of year. Ice extent is obtained by summing the area covered by pixels that have 15 percent or greater ice concentration. The area not imaged by the sensor at the North Pole is assumed to be entirely ice-covered.

High-resolution version

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