The Arctic’s “old ice” — ice that had been around for at least four years — used to make up about a quarter of all the ice in the Arctic sea. But it’s disappearing, and in the NOAA video above, you can watch it happen. It’s kind of unnerving — the ice cover looks almost like it’s in pain, and if the Arctic could feel pain, this probably would hurt.
But, really, we’re the ones who are hurting here. The Guardian explains:
Replacing this thicker, harder old ice with young ice, which is generally thinner and melts more easily, is also contributing to the steep decline in summer sea ice extent and could trigger a feedback loop. That’s because less ice means more dark ocean water is exposed to the sun, which absorbs more of the incoming sunlight than white ice. That means warmer waters, which could in turn mean even less old ice and ice cover with each passing year.
At least, thanks to NOAA, we now know exactly what doom looks like. It looks like an antsy blue amoeba.