Climate Impacts

(animation) Decades ago, the majority of the Arctic's winter ice pack was made up of thick, perennial ice. Today, very old ice is extremely rare.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

  • In the mid-1980s, the winter sea ice pack in the Arctic was dominated by multi-year ice—ice that had survived at least one summer melt. Today, less than half of the sea ice at winter maximum has survived at least one summer.

  • The low ice extent recorded this September continued the downward trend seen over the last 30 years. Meanwhile, scientists are finding that the ice cover has grown thinner, making it more vulnerable to melting during the summer.