Arctic sea ice hit a record low this summer, new data shows.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said that Arctic sea ice shrunk to its second lowest point since 2007, and was down to 1.67 million square miles on Sept. 9.
Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its lowest extent for the year, the National Snow and Ice Data Center said in a preliminary announcement on its Web site.
This appears to have been the lowest extent of the year, and may mark the point when sea ice begins its cold-season cycle of growth, the NSIDC stated. However, a shift in wind patterns or late season melt could still push the ice extent lower.
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration oceanographer James Overland told The Associated Press that the shrinking ice showed a long-term change in the Arctic climate.
This is not a random event, he said, The AP reported.
Live Science reported that the shrinking sea ice has forced walruses to go to the coast of Alaska in record numbers.
Several walruses have gone to a beach near Point Lay in Alaska, according to U.S. Geological Survey walrus researchers Chad Jay, Live Science reported.
What we are seeing now and for the last five years, we have seen the edge of the sea ice recede far north of the continental shelf and over the deep waters of the Arctic Basin, and if walruses were to stay with that sea ice they would find themselves over the deep water and unable to forage effectively, Jay said, Live Science reported.