With the incredibly frosty temperatures we've been having this year, it's easy to imagine that the melting ice might be getting a temporary reprieve — until you watch this video of the arctic ice shrinking over the last few decades, that is.


Temperatures are frosty enough that much of the melted ice refreezes in the arctic during the cold season, the problem though is that this new ice is formed over a single season, or sometimes a few seasons. The older ice was formed over many seasons and added new layers with each winter, making that ice much thicker, sturdier, and resistant to melt than the new ice.


What this means is that the total volume of ice is in much faster free-fall than even the decreasing surface area makes it appear. You can check out the drop in total ice volume over the years in this chart from NOAA. It's pretty depressing.

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