1. The ice extent went down to 1.6 million square miles. This is 0.9 million square miles less than the long-term average from 1981 to 2010.
2. The Arctic ice cover helps regulate the planet's temperature.
3. The yellow outline shows the average sea ice minimum from 1979 through 2010.
TAG: Since 1978 researchers have observed a steep decline in the average extent of Arctic sea ice for every month of the year.