If you think climate change is something that is going to happen in the future, you might want to take 60 seconds to observe what is happening now.
In this short animation, the oldest sea ice (10 years or older) is white while the new ice (1 year) is light blue. Watch as the oldest sea ice is rapidly destroyed as a result of climate change.
Under normal conditions, the footprint of the sea ice grows during Fall and Winter and shrinks in Summer. Ice that survives the Summer melt gains thickness and is more likely to continue to grow year after year. The oldest ice at the center is also the thickest and forms the core of the floating sea ice – a critical natural climate regulator.
As the sea ice melts, the Albedo effect of the sea ice diminishes. In other words, less of the sun’s radiation is reflected back into space. With the loss of the Albedo effect, the darker, warmer liquid water absorbs heat from the sun, creating a cycle of melting and increasing the acceleration of global temperature rise.
The melting of the sea ice is also related to the melting of the land-based permafrost in the arctic circle, another major accelerator of climate change. Leading scientists are pinning the massive craters that have recently been discovered in Siberia to large plumes of methane being released or exploding out of the permafrost.
Watch this video for a helicopter flyover view of the crater.
Watch the video below for a full explanation of the melting permafrost.