Scientists say ice in the Arctic Ocean melted in 2020 to the second lowest level on record.
It's the latest alarming development about vanishing ice at the top of the world.
U.s. scientists reported Monday that the extent of ice-covered ocean at the North Pole and further south reached its summertime low of 1.4 million square miles last week.
This year's melt is second only to 2012.
Scientists say the melting is triggered by global warming along with natural forces.
A Swedish meteorologist said that the surface area of the sea ice is accompanied by another serious decline - the depth of the ice.
Meteorologist Prof. Michael Tjernstrom said, "The only solution to this problem is to stop global warming. There is no quick fix for the Arctic. There is no way we can protect the system without changing our attitude towards climate change. That's the only solution: stop burning fossil fuels."
In the 1980s, the arctic ice cover was about one million square miles bigger than current summer levels.