Forces of Change

What’s Melting?

Whether on land or at sea, Arctic ice has been decreasing in recent years.

Beaufort Sea: ice-covered in winter
Sea ice (frozen ocean water) is decreasing both in the area it covers and in its thickness.
Photo © RADM Harley D. Nygren/Department of Commerce
Icebergs are huge chunks of glaciers that broke off into the ocean. Ninety percent of an iceberg is below the water’s surface.
Photo © Peter Hemming Photography
Permafrost is permanently frozen soil on land and on the shallow Arctic seafloor.
Photo © Galen Rowell/CORBIS
Greenland Ice Sheet
Greenland’s immense ice sheet has thinned along the coastlines as melting has increased. Melting ice caps and glaciers can add water to oceans and raise sea levels. 
Photo courtesy of NASA
Mountain glacier
Most mountain glaciers have been retreating since the 1960s, with the trend speeding up in the 1990s.
Photo © Chris Linder Photography