Springtime melting and retreating sea ice allowed more sunlight to reach the upper layers of the ocean, stimulating widespread blooms of algae and other tiny marine plants which form the base of the marine food chain: a sign of the rapid changes occurring in a warming Arctic.
Although surface melt did not set a new record in 2016, the Greenland Ice Sheet did continue a long-term trend of decreasing mass, according to the latest Arctic Report Card from NOAA and its partners.
A black swan event is a situation so rare that few people would have imagined it was possible. In November 2016, researchers were caught off guard by just such an event: extremely low sea ice extents in both the Arctic and Antarctic.
The author of the glacier chapter of the 2015 State of the Climate report and his daughter talk about how family connections brought them together scientifically, and how science keeps bringing their family together.