Last year NASA released these rather shocking satellite images of the polar ice caps. According to its scientists and researchers at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the area of the arctic ice sheet fell to a record low in August . And it is expected to continue to retreat over the next few weeks.
The extent of the arctic ice sheet grows during the winter and shrinks during the summer. The first photo above shows the total extent of the ice sheet’s retreat in the summer of 1979. The second shows its retreat so far this summer. The orange line shows the average minimum ice cover from 1979 to 2010.
According to NASA, the seasonal minimum area of the arctic ice sheet has gotten 13 percent smaller each decade for the past three decades.