"The data reveal that thick sea ice has disappeared from a region to the north of Greenland, the Canadian Archipelago, and to the northeast of Svalbard," said Katharine Giles, co-author of the study "CryoSat-2 estimates of Arctic sea ice thickness and volume," recently published online in Geophysical Research Letters.
This animation based on data from the U.S. National Ice Center shows the melting of Arctic sea ice from June 1 through August 24, 2011. Every year, the Arctic Ocean experiences the formation and then melting of vast amounts of floating ice, but recent data has shown the rate of overall loss of both coverage and thickness has accelerated.
The research data has confirmed for the first time that the decline in sea ice coverage in the Arctic polar region has also been accompanied by a substantial decline in ice volume. It also confirms the continuing decline observed from 2003 to 2008 by NASA's ICESat satellite.