Despite significant regional differences in the start and end of the melt season, the Arctic melt season has lengthened on average by five days per decade from 1979 to 2013.
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A new report from NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reveals that the Arctic melt season grows longer by several days each decade. In addition, an earlier start to the melt season allows the Arctic Ocean to absorb enough incoming solar radiation in several locations to melt a maximum of four feet of the Arctic ice capâ€™s thickness.
Over the last 40 years, Arctic sea ice has declined sharply, and as the ice cap continues to shrink and thin, scientists think an ice-free Arctic Ocean during the summer may well be reached this century. Â The seven lowest September sea ice extents in the satellite record have all occurred in the past seven years.