GregLaden writes: "According to data just now available, the total surface area of the Arctic Sea that is not covered in ice has reached the lowest point ever recorded. Every summer the sea ice in the Arctic melts to some degree, reaching a minimum around the middle of September. Over the last several years, the amount of ice at this minimal point has been lower than previously recorded. (Accurate records go back a few decades, so this the most recent period of Global Warming). Today, I got an email from my colleague John Abraham (the John Abraham from this podcast) noting that this morning’s data indicated that the ice had reached this minimum extent. We can now say with some confidence that we will in have the smallest extent of ice so far. I’ve recently discussed the overall pattern of melting in the Arctic, and just yesterday posted a piece on global warming and sea level rise in the Daily Kos Blogathon, and of course, melting ice (but mainly continental glacial ice) is key to that. Also, I hear last night that Al Gore and some of his colleagues will be posting at that Blogathon this morning, so go check that out."