According to a scary new report from NASA, the oldest and thickest Arctic sea ice is melting away at a more rapid rate than the thinner ice at the edges of the Arctic ice cap. In the study, which was led by Joey Comiso, senior scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Comiso says:
“The average thickness of the Arctic sea ice cover is declining because it is rapidly losing its thick component, the multi-year ice. At the same time, the surface temperature in the Arctic is going up, which results in a shorter ice-forming season,” Comiso said. “It would take a persistent cold spell for most multi-year sea ice and other ice types to grow thick enough in the winter to survive the summer melt season and reverse the trend.”
The team discovered that this perennial ice is disappearing at a rate of -12.2% per decade, while its area is declining at a rate of -13.5% per decade. The study was recently published in Journal of Climate.