CryoSat-2 was launched by the European Space Agencyin April 2010. It is the first satellite that specifically studies sea-ice thickness; it’s orbit gives extensive coverage of the Arctic Sea and it’s radar penetrates through cloud.
Preliminary results from the CryoSat-2 mission show that 900 cubic kilometres of Arctic summer sea-ice has been lost in the past year. This figure represents a 50% higher rate of loss than scientists predicted, which suggests that global warming is having a significant impact on the polar region. Full article in the Guardian:http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/aug/11/arctic-sea-ice-vanishing.