How Do We Know: Thinning Sea Ice

Program Summary

White sea ice is essential for reflecting powerful solar radiation away from earth and keeping the poles cool. In the Arctic, the area covered by sea ice is shrinking, and, as it turns out, thinning. This is occurring for many reasons, with manmade climate change and natural variability playing key roles. In this video, NASA scientist Ron Kwok details new technology he is using to monitor how fast the Arctic's sea ice is melting due to warming from below. Because sea ice melts more rapidly as it thins, the thickness of the ice is a key indicator of how long we can expect summer sea ice to remain.