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Sea ice atop the Arctic Ocean. NASA

Scientists warn that a warm layer of salty ocean water accumulating 50 meters beneath the Arctic's Canadian Basin could potentially melt the region's sea-ice pack for much of the year if it reaches the surface.

The findings were published Thursday in the journal Science Advances by researchers from Yale University and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

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Kebnekaise as seen from Tarfala valley. Alexandar Vujadinovic

The southern tip of the Kebnekaise mountain is likely no longer Sweden's highest peak as a heat wave in the Arctic circle bakes the region, researchers said.

Between July 2 and July 31, "four meters of snow and ice have melted, an average of 14 cm per day," Stockholm University Geography Professor and Head of the Tarfala Research Station near the mountain, Gunhild Rosqvist, said in a press release.

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