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Arctic Snow Cover Rapidly Retreating

August 17, 2014

Scientists have known for a while that Arctic snow cover and sea ice are retreating, but the magnitude of problem wasn't so clear. New long-term measurements have solved that problem, and the news isn't good.

In the last 50 years, snow cover over Arctic sea ice has thinned rapidly, according to a study by NASA and the University of Washington.

The report shows that snow cover has thinned by half in some parts of the Arctic Circle, which can cause problems for the ice below.

Researchers are uncertain what effects melting snow cover will have on the environment, but they predict that less snow cover could cause the ice to melt quicker in spring.

The retreating sea ice could also have an impact on animal habitats.

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