Towering ice arches in the Arctic are melting, putting ‘Last Ice Area’ at risk of vanishing

The world’s thickest and oldest sea ice is at risk of being lost as the towering ice arches holding it in place experience rapid melting, twice as fast as the rest of the Arctic. 

The stretch of multiyear sea ice between the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Greenland — which can reach around 1 million square miles (1.6 million square kilometers) and stays frozen for more than one melt season — is known as the “Last Ice Area” by scientists. Like all sea ice, it grows and shrinks with the seasons, but has so far lasted through even the warmest summers on record and was expected to endure warming temperatures longer than anywhere else in the Arctic.

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