An especially warm summer has driven extreme Arctic melting, says NASA

Since 1980, the Arctic has lost enough sea ice volume to equal all the water in Lake Superior, NASA said.

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An unusually hot summer worldwide has led to an extreme rate of Arctic ice melt, NASA said on Friday.

NASA scientist Nathan Kurtz explained that the Greenland ice sheet is experiencing extreme levels of ice melt.

NASA would not go as far as saying 2019 will set a new record for Arctic ice loss, but the year is on track to be one of the top five in the 40-year satellite record, according to the agency.

He said that NASA technology identified a rapid melting trend earlier than usual this year.

“And in May they were seeing a lot of melt ponds that were forming on the surface. This was an indication that melt had started very early. This melt usually doesn’t start until typically June or July and then July into August. Substantial part of the Greenland ice sheet was melting. About 90 percent was melting,” he said.

He called the melting ice “alarming.”

According to NASA, since 1980, the Arctic has lost enough sea ice volume to equal all the water in Lake Superior, one of the largest lakes in the world.