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Russian meteorologists report ice reduction in Arctic

08-08-2011 15:15 BJT

MOSCOW, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Arctic is getting warmer at a fast pace with the Russian Arctic sector's ice areas contracting to historically low levels, according to Russian meteorological bureau Rosgidromet.

According to a Rosgidromet report cited by Itar-Tass news agency Saturday, the polar cap in the Russian sector has shrunk to the historical low registered in 2007, with no ice expected to block the Northern Seaway at least until September.

"Currently, Arctic navigation conditions are very favorable. By early August, navigation can be done without icebreakers almost along the entire route," said Valery Martyshchenko, head of Rosgidromet's environment pollution monitoring department.

According to the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, the current ice cover in the Arctic Ocean is 6,860 million square kilometers, way below average.

Martyshchenko said the longer period of icebreaker-free navigation would benefit the regions located in the Arctic area, allowing longer access to food and energy supplies, but the warming of the climate also posed new threats, such as melting of ice and forming of icebergs.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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