Arctic ice continued its decline this winter, with hearty old ice increasingly being replaced with quick-to-melt young ice, according to a new report by NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
This winter's maximum Arctic sea ice extent was 5.85 million square miles (15,150,000 square kilometers)—about 278,000 square miles (720,000 square kilometers) less than the Arctic average between 1979 and 2000.
"That's a loss about the size of the state of Texas," said Walter Meier of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado.
"We used to have a winter ice maximum about twice the size of the lower 48 United States," Meier added.
This year's ice cover was not a record low, but it did continue a dubious streak. The past six years (2004-09) have seen the least Arctic ice at the time of maximum cover, in winter, since satellite records began in 1979.
The new ice melts faster than old ice. When the ice around Greenland disappears, their glaciers are going to melt faster. Meaning more warming, melting, and sea rising. It is going to be an interesting couple of decades.