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Another low record for Arctic ice in January

The extent of ice cover in the Arctic for January was the lowest on record, following another record-low in December for that month, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

Ice covered on average 5.23 million square miles (13.55 million square kilometers) in January 2011, which is almost half a million square miles less than the average ice extent measured between 1979-2000, and 19,3000 square miles (50,000 square kilometers) below the previous record set in 2006.

The Arctic oscillation, which brought colder-than-average temperatures to some parts of the US and Europe, fed an unusually warm winter in Canada and the Arctic. According to the NSIDC, temperatures in the Arctic were often 2-6 degrees Celsius (4-11 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal during January.

Scientists overwhelming conclude that the world is undergoing warming due to greenhouse gas emissions from human activities, such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation.

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