Snow cover extent in the northern hemisphere for June 2012 was the lowest in the 45-year record for June, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Snow extent was more than 1 million square kilometers below the previous record low set in 2010.
By the way, May 2012 had the third lowest snow extent in the northern hemisphere for that month.
Why is this important?
According to the NSIDC, this rapid and early retreat of snow cover exposes large, darker underlying surfaces to the sun early in the season, fostering higher air temperatures and warmer soils.
Arctic sea ice extent for June 2012
Sea ice extent in the Arctic rapidly diminished during the month of June, with the month as a whole ending up as the second lowest June extent on record behind 2010. Records go back to 1979.
Images courtesy of the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
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