The dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice in recent years is the result of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions combined with natural cycles, according to a new study.
The loss of ice will likely change water temperatures and affect the circulation of ocean currents, which may alter climates around the world, the study suggests.
The study reviewed previous research of Arctic sea ice, which showed that the ice has been steadily disappearing since 1979.
In September 2005 satellite images revealed that the Arctic ice was at its lowest level in some 50 years of observation.
"If we compare how much ice we had in September 2005 with a typical September, we've lost an amount of ice about twice the size of Texas," said lead author Mark Serreze, senior researcher at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
"So we're talking about a lot of real estate."