Study: Arctic ice loss driven by natural swings, not just mankind

Natural variations in the Arctic climate “may be responsible for about 30–50 percent of the overall decline in September sea ice since 1979,” the U.S.-based team of scientists wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Sea ice has shrunk steadily and hit a record low in September 2012 — late summer in the Arctic — in satellite records dating back to 1979.

The ice is now around the smallest for mid-March, rivaling winter lows set in 2016 and 2015.

The study, separating man-made from natural influences in the Arctic atmospheric circulation, said that a decades-long natural warming of the Arctic climate might be tied to shifts as far away as the tropical Pacific Ocean.