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Dramatic summer melt at the North Pole

Image(s) courtesy North Pole Environmental Observatory

Image(s) courtesy North Pole Environmental Observatory

Digital writers

Friday, July 26, 2013, 7:04 AM -

Thirteen years ago, the North Pole Environmental Observatory set up a webcam to monitor the Arctic Sea.

While summer ice melt at the North Pole is normal, the National Snow and Ice Data Center says temperatures have been between 1 and 3°C above average this year -- transforming an ice floe in the region into a lake.

The buoy in the centre of the image above is usually encased in ice year-round, but this year, it can be seen floating in the water.

Last summer, ice cover was at an all-time low. While this year isn't expected to be quite as bad, it's shaping up to be the sixth-lowest on record.

The ice data centre says that during the first two weeks of July 2013, ice melted 61 per cent faster than the thirty-year average.

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