Arctic ice builds up in the winter, but when the sun shines on it, some of the ice melts (Photo by Jeremy Harbeck, courtesy of NASA)
A NASA study finds that Arctic ice is melting
faster than expected. Mark Brush reports:
A NASA study finds that Arctic ice is melting faster than expected. Mark Brush reports:
In the winter – Arctic ice builds up. But when the sun starts to shine on the pole – like it is now – some of that ice melts. But there’s a thicker ice sheet that can usually survive through the summer. On average it’s nine feet thick.
NASA recently published a new study on that thick ice in the in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans. They measured the ice from 2004 to 2008. In that time – 42% of this thick ice melted.
Ron Kwok headed up the study for NASA. He says when you lose this thick ice – it changes things:
“There’s a lot of heat going into the ocean. Whereas if you had an ice cover, a lot of that radiation is reflected back into space.”
Kwok says a warmer ocean in the arctic speeds up melting. And warmer arctic waters can drive all kinds of big changes in climate patterns around the world.