The National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado reports the frozen cap of the Arctic Ocean broke a new summertime minimum extent on Sept. 16. Researchers analyzed satellite data and determined the sea ice shrunk to 1.32 million square miles, or 293,000 square miles less than the record low of September 2007. Original model predictions of the Arctic sea ice were more rapid than previous expectations. The breakup of the ice also is attributed to a cyclone that formed off the coast of Alaska, moving to the center of the Arctic Ocean on Aug. 5. Due to excessive cyclone churning, the weakened ice cover was further compromised. A large section of sea ice was pushed south into warmer waters and melted.