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Arctic ice more vulnerable than ever

Ocean’s ice cap is smaller than long-term average and thinnest yet as melt season begins

The spring melting of the Arctic Ocean’s ice cap has already begun, and data suggest that the ice is more vulnerable than ever: The ocean area covered by ice is one of the lowest ever measured by satellites, and a record high fraction of that area is capped by thin, first-year ice that’s more prone to melt than older, thicker ice is.

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