Before/After NASA Graphics of Arctic Sea Ice Melt Are Scary/Depressing

raichovak/CC BY-ND 2.0

The oldest and thickest parts of the Arctic ice cap are melting at a frightening rate, according to newly published NASA research. This is some truly frightening stuff:

The thicker ice, known as multi-year ice, survives through the cyclical summer melt season, when young ice that has formed over winter just as quickly melts again. The rapid disappearance of older ice makes Arctic sea ice even more vulnerable to further decline in the summer, said Joey Comiso, senior scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., and author of the study, which was recently published in Journal of Climate ...

The new research takes a closer look at how multi-year ice, ice that has made it through at least two summers, has diminished with each passing winter over the last three decades. Multi-year ice "extent" – which includes all areas of the Arctic Ocean where multi-year ice covers at least 15 percent of the ocean surface – is diminishing at a rate of -15.1 percent per decade, the study found.

To get an idea of what that looks like, check out the graphics NASA whipped up to demonstrate global warming in action.

Exhibit A (1980):

NASA/Public Domain

Exhibit B: (2012)

nasa sea ice 2012/Public Domain

Adios, old Arctic sea ice.

Tags: Global Climate Change | Global Warming Effects | Global Warming Science