London: Scientists have highlighted global warming fears and revealed that the Arctic is facing record levels of melting ice this year.
A warm spell gripping the region has melted a staggering 46,000 square miles of ice each day so far in July.
The vast amount is the same area as the state of Pennsylvania being lost every day, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado.
If the same amount of melting continues throughout July it will be the fastest rate since records began in 1979.
“That`s relatively fast,” the Daily Mail quoted NSIDC research scientist Julienne Stroeve as telling LiveScience.
“Unless things change in the next few weeks, we might have a new record for July.
“Certainly overall, we think the ice is thinner overall leading up to this season than it was in 2007,” added Stroeve.
The researchers discovered that this year the ice began to melt between two weeks and two months earlier than usual, signalling a greater overall amount of melting ice for the entire year.
The measurements took place in the Chukchi Sea, near Alaska, the Barents, Kara and Laptev Seas, near Finland and Russia.
It is believed that the melting ice has been caused by warm spells sweeping across the Northern Hemisphere.