Insight: What's driving the Arctic sea ice decline?
By Catherine Brahic AS THE extent of Arctic ice approaches its summer minimum, it is clear that it has yet again shrunk to one of the smallest areas in recent decades – albeit not by quite as much as last year’s record-breaking low (see diagram). How much can be blamed on climate change, and how much on normal weather variation? In 2007, Arctic ice reached an all-time low, opening the North-West Passage, a sea route along the north coast of Canada, for the first time on record. Climatologists now think a major factor was natural variations in the weather: