Monday through Friday of each week, the Norwegian Ice Service, a government agency within the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, tweets out rather dismal news about the state of the thawing Arctic.
But these tweets aren’t intended to be grim. They’re simply an objective account of the modern Arctic reality. Each morning, the agency puts the current sea ice cover over a large swath of ocean between Norway and the North Pole into an emotionless, historical perspective.
Take, for instance, a post from August 22, 2018:
The happenings in this 600,000-square kilometer area monitored by the Ice Service are consistent with what’s occurring in the greater Arctic: Of the nearly 40 years of satellite records observed by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, each of the last 12 years have seen the 12 lowest ice extents on record.
“It’s certainly really enforcing that we are on a declining trend — and we can expect it to go lower,” Nick Hughes, head of the Norwegian Ice Service, said in an interview.
Arctic sea ice is now vanishingly at an accelerating rate. As more ice melts, there are significantly fewer bright, white surfaces to reflect the sun’s energy back into space. Instead, the ocean absorbs the heat, further boosting the warming over the expansive Arctic.