Nor has this loss shown any sign of recovery. Ice cover for 2008 was almost as bad as for 2007, and this year levels look equally sparse.
In February, a Nasa satellite carrying instruments to produce the first map of the Earth's carbon emissions crashed near Antarctica only three minutes after lift-off.
Disappearing summer sea ice poses considerable dangers, scientists have warned. Ice shelves are used by animals such as polar bears as platforms for hunting seals and other sea creatures. Without them, they could starve. In addition, ice reflects solar radiation. Without that process, the Arctic sea could warm up even more. The phenomenon threatens to set off runaway heating of the planet, say climatologists.
SHOOT: The recession will to some extent dampen emission activity.
The photographs demonstrate starkly how global warming is changing the Arctic.