The Arctic is enduring another hotter-than-average summer with its sea ice shrinking to scattered, thin sheets.
NASA warns that it’s the “new normal”, and wildlife that rely on sea ice must drastically change their behaviour to survive.
While ice levels fluctuate with the seasons, and this year’s summer minimum may not set a new record, the amount of ice present each season is still significantly less than it was decades ago.
This is where NASA’s Operation IceBridge comes into play. NASA sent out a series of flights over the sea ice during the summer minimum for the first time.
Combining airborne data with satellite observations, Operation IceBridge will model the Arctic’s bleak future and predict how the melting season will evolve.
The stunning bird’s eye footage above, where pools of vibrant blue melt water carving into the sea ice, shows the sad reality of one of global warming’s lasting footprints.