The most recent data show that as of Sept. 19, the area covered by ice fell to 2.01 million square miles, the lowest since 1978, when satellite records began, the BBC reported Wednesday.
At the current 8-percent-per-decade rate of shrinkage, climatologists say Arctic ice may cease to exist by the summer of 2060.
Mark Serreze of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., told BBC News the findings are evidence of climate change induced by human activities.
"It's still a controversial issue, and there's always going to be some uncertainty because the climate system does have a lot of natural variability, especially in the Arctic," he said.
"But I think the evidence is growing very, very strong that part of what we're seeing now is the increased greenhouse effect," he told the BBC.
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