Arctic Impression - Polar Ice

Lynn M. Hanna

I recently visited the polar ice cap, in the Arctic Ocean, about 500 miles from the North Pole. I expected to see a giant floating field of ice. What I actually saw were wide ribbons of ice chunks, each ribbon composed of a different size, color, age, and texture of ice bits. Distinct lines separated the various ice types, bending each in concentric and nesting bands, mirroring the currents below. As the ice melts, the ribbons become darker ocean water. Global warming has accelerated this natural cycle, to the point where more ice melts than is created each year.

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