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28 September 2005
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Sea Ice Decline Intensifies

Figure 4: Melt onset anomaly maps, 2002-2005

Figure 4: Melt onset anomaly maps, 2002-2005

These maps show the difference between “normal” timing of spring melting (the long-term mean) and when melting started in the year indicated. Melt began earlier on average in all four years, but was most widespread in 2002 and 2005.

The 2005 map shows particularly early melt in the region north of the Bering Strait , which is consistent with the warm temperatures observed during the spring and summer. The satellite does not pass directly over the North Pole; this lack of data is indicated by the gray circle in each image.
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