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Though the minimum did not reach the 2012 record-breaking low of 1.32 million square miles (18% below the previous record) before the winter freeze sets in, it remains way below the 1981 to 2010 average. The announcement confirms yet again that there is a long term decline in Arctic sea ice extent.

WWF Polar Expert Rod Downie said;

Far from showing a dramatic recovery, Arctic sea ice remains in decline. Less sea ice means less habitat for polar bears, and has huge implications for ecosystems and for people in and beyond the Arctic.

"Urgent action from governments and industry is needed to steer us off the course of dangerous climate change."

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Editor's notes

WWF's Polar expert Rod Downie spent 14 years as part of the British Antarctic Survey and spent more than two and a half years living and working on the ice in Antarctica. You can follow Rod's blog at http://blogs.wwf.org.uk/biographies/rod-downie/ and at the Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rod-downie/

WWF is one of the world's largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries. Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, creating solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature thrive. Find out more about our work, past and present at wwf.org.uk.

For further information, please contact:

Natalie Clark | Media Officer
T: +44 (0)1483 412253 | M: 07771 818682 | E:
nclark@wwf.org.uk

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