Satellite data reveal that the Arctic is losing its old, thick ice faster than ever before?in modern times, anyway. This has continued even though the summer is over. Older ice floes are thicker and contain less salt, so they usually survive the summer better than the more newly-formed ice. The shrinking of Arctic ice has global implications, since ice reflects heat back into the atmosphere, helping to keep global warming at bay.

In BBC News, Richard Black quotes NASA researcher Seelye Martin as saying, “Although this March the area is slightly larger than last March, the area of [thick] perennial ice has reached an all time low. So the volume of Arctic ice continues to decrease.” He quotes NASA researcher Josefino Comiso as saying, “It’s becoming thinner and thinner and much more susceptible to melting during the summer?much more likely to melt away.”

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