After announcing a record-smashing, unprecedented loss of Arctic sea ice on August 26th, scientists Wednesday returned to declare that the situation grew even more dire in September.
According to a report by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, sea ice cover dropped from the previous record of 1.58M square miles to the new one of 1.32M square miles.
“We are now in uncharted territory,” Mark Serreze, director of the center said in a statement. “While we’ve long known that as the planet warms up, changes would be seen first and be most pronounced in the Arctic, few of us were prepared for how rapidly the changes would actually occur.”
While climate scientists have long predicted an Arctic free of sea ice by 2050, this summer’s loss has caused many to revise their dates. Serreze told NBC News he’s betting on 2030, calling it “a pretty aggressive estimate.”
For a time-lapse of 2012’s record-breaking ice melt, check out the video below.