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The Arctic is undergoing significant environmental changes due to climate warming. The most evident signal of this warming is the shrinking and thinning of the ice cover of the Arctic Ocean. If the warming continues, as global climate models predict, the Arctic Ocean will change from a perennially ice-covered to a seasonally ice-free ocean. Estimates as to when this will occur vary from the 2030s to the end of this century. One reason for this huge uncertainty is the lack of systematic observations describing the state, variability, and changes in the Arctic Ocean.