The Shrinking Polar Ice Caps
June 20, 2012 2 Comments
NASA has recently released pictures that depict how the Arctic’s sea ice is disappearing at an extremely fast rate. The size of the Arctic’s floating ice cap has diminished massively over the last 30 years, losing around 15-20% of its mass per decade.
These images from space show a comparison of the snow-and-ice capped planet earth from above the North Pole in 1980, and present day 2012:
NASA believes these images give evidence to the theory that we are in a period of global warming. The rapid disappearance of older ice makes the Arctic sea even more vulnerable to further decline in the summer. Scientists have also discovered a periodic nine-year cycle where sea ice extent would first grow for a few years, then shrink until the cycle started again. The sea ice hit a historical minimum in 2008, bounced back slightly with more ice growth, but has been in rapid decline in 2012.