Arctic sea ice extent in March 2013 averaged 15.04 million square kilometers (5.81 million square miles). This is 710,000 kilometers (274,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average extent, and 610,000 square kilometers (236,000 square miles) above the record low for the month, which happened in 2006.
Continuing a trend in recent winters, ice extent was near or below average levels throughout most of the Arctic, with the exception of higher extent in the Bering Sea.
The Arcic sea ice is one of the key symbols of the cold and barren Arctic Region. It affects lives of both, Arctic and non – Arctic residents.
The Arctic sea ice significantly contributes to the world weather patterns and it helps to keep the globes temperatures down.
The measurements that have been conducted for the past six years show that the Arctic sea ice has been decreasing. Scientists predict that this pattern will lead to the ice – free Arctic before 2050.