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Ice in Arctic could become seasonal by end of century - Rosgidromet

MOSCOW. Feb 18 (Interfax) - Scientists do not rule out that ice in the Arctic region will fully melt in summertime by the end of the 21st century.

"It is expected that by the end of the 21st century the Artic will be absolutely free of ice in summertime. Ice in the Arctic will become seasonal," Vladimir Katsov, a member of Rosgidromet's coordination committee preparing a report on climate change and its impact on Russia, told a news conference on Wednesday.

The thickness of Artic ice has been decreasing rapidly in recent years, he said.

According to the report distributed at the news conference, satellite data indicates that there is a stable trend of reducing the ice area in the Arctic region in the past 30 years. The minimal area of seasonal ice, which is usually seen in September, has been reducing 9% per a decade since 1979, the year when satellite observations began. This area reached a historic minimum - 4.3 million square kilometers - in September 2007.