The 2009 ice melt season has just been completed at the northern polar cap, and observations confirm that the decay of the arctic ocean ice cover is continuing a steady decline.
The last three melt seasons represent the 3 lowest summer ice areas in the satellite record.
Satellite measurements of total summer ice surface have been on a downward slope for 3 decades. In 2007, ice area suffered a spectacular and unpredicted slump. In the last two years, summer expanse rebounded from the catastrophic collapse, to mere precipitous decline.