The amount of sea ice in Arctic waters has been shrinking since 1978 by an average of roughly 14,000 square miles a year, an area larger than Maryland and Delaware combined, according to a new study by an international team of scientists published in today’s issue of the journal Science. The researchers say the shrinkage is very likely due to human-caused climate change, with less than a 2 percent chance that the melting of the past 20 years is due to normal climate variation and only a 0.1 percent chance that the melting over the past 46 years has been natural. The scientists combined 46 years of data and analyzed it with what are considered to be the world’s most sophisticated computer models.