Ice Caps Melt in the North Pole . . . Again

Earth's coldest spot wilts after a superheated July.

Photo Credit: Courtesy North Pole Environmental Observatory

In what is proving to be a relatively annual occurrence, the North Pole's ice has melted, turning the Earth's northern most point into a shallow lake. The North Pole Environmental Observatory released a photo on July 24 that has many clamoring to push climate change to the forefront of national concerns. The ice began to melt, with the melted water resting above a thin layer of ice, on July 13 during a month of abnormally warm weather (LiveScience reports the temperatures have been 1 to 3 degrees Celsius higher then the Atlantic Ocean's July average).

With an Arctic cyclone on the way, the strong winds and rain are said to be on course to possibly loosen the ice coverage even further, thinning the water and potentially expanding the lake. This all falls within an undeniable rising of temperatures across the globe, with the Northern hemisphere finding itself particularly affected (thanks largely to an ever-depleting hole in the ozone layer). Though April featured the 9th highest snow storm on record, according to the Washington Post, May's snow cover ranked the third lowest since 1967, melting almost half of the ice caps' snowy layer. Many scientists and environmental activists and just plain sane people are heeding this as a warning to take environmental action, as an increase in sea temperature is largely considered to be contributing to melting ice caps the world over.

Rod Bastanmehr is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow him on Twitter @rodb.