Sea ice

Sea ice breaks apart as the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica traverses the Northwest Passage through the Victoria Strait in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in a Friday, July 21, 2017, file photo.

Sea ice plays a crucial role in cooling the planet. It’s melting at record-breaking rates.

Climate Change

According to research at the Norwegian Polar Institute, last decade’s average Arctic sea-ice levels hit their lowest in 1,000 years. And last month, sea ice reached its lowest point ever recorded in July.

Grease ice dampens ripples in the water near a golden orange sunset.

Antarctica dispatch 8: Behold grease, shuga and pancake ice

Three people walk across ground covered in ice and snow as the horizon stretches behind them.

As Greenland’s ice sheet melts, scientists push to learn ‘how fast’

The Big Melt
sea ice

Ice is us: Alaska Natives face the demise of the Arctic ice pack

The Big Melt
Wind patterns in the ice pack that covers the Arctic Ocean north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska on March 18, 2011.

Sea ice has hit new record lows at both poles

Ice scientists Ken Golden and Chris Polashenski drill a plastic tube into the Arctic ice cap north of Alaska as part of their research into melt ponds that form on the ice every spring. The ponds play a key role in the accellerated warming of the Arctic,

A scientist unlocks one of the mysteries of Arctic ice melt


On a research voyage through the Arctic ice cap, a scientist has a eureka moment, one that he hopes will help solve some of the riddles about Arctic ice melt — and what’s ahead for the rest of the planet as the climate warms up.

The European Space Agency’s Earth Explorer CryoSat makes precise measurements of changes in the thickness of marine ice floating in the polar oceans, as well as variations in the thickness of the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica.

On a long downward slide, scientists say 2013 was an up year for Arctic Ice


Scientists report that ice volume at the top of the planet was way up at the end of this summer, but still among the lowest ever recorded.

The World

Greenland Melt Music

Greenland’s 2012 summer melt was largest on record. Tired of trying to convey the science with graphs and statistics, ice specialist Marco Tedesco found a musician who could turn his data into music.

Scientists reveal startling decrease in Arctic Ocean ice cover


Scientists studying the Arctic are predicting the ice cap will shrink to record levels this year, a condition many blame on human-caused climate change. That’d led some to conclude that before this decade is out, we could have a summer day or days where there’s no Arctic ice cap at all.

The World

Swimming Polar Bear

An encounter with a polar bear swimming among ice floes impresses writer Mark Seth Lender and leaves him with a deep respect for the massive arctic carnivore.