The Arctic ice has now passed its annual minimum and scientists expect ice cover to increase as winter arrives. The minimum was 1.60 million square miles and ties with 2007 as the second lowest extent on record.
Last week Arctic scientist Peter Wadhams told New Scientist "... the trend is so strongly downwards that in one, two or
three more years, I expect ... that there will be less than a million square
kilometres of sea ice remaining in September ... in one, two or three more years." Of course, one million is just a number - further shrinkage is inevitable.
The effects are already apparent. The same issue of New Scientist reported the rapid decline in populations of Ivory Gulls off Greenland and Svalbard. According to Kyle Elliott
at McGill University in Montreal. “... if the ice disappears – they’re not going
to be able to survive.”