“ The rate and extent of present-day sea ice loss is unprecedented in at least 1,500 years, according to a 2017 report. It has increased six fold since the 1980s, according to a recent study, with the ice sheet responsible for raising global sea levels by 13.7 millimetres since 1972, half of which occurred in just the past 8 years.
As of this week, there is no sea ice off the shores of Alaska, something that has never occurred before so early in the melt season. Ice has even pulled back again from the coastal waters north of Greenland, which had long been a refuge for the oldest and thickest ice cover. This was first seen in 2018, and no longer appears to be a fluke.
Another feedback involves natural darkening of the ice cover, since above average temperatures tends to reduce the reflectivity, or albedo, of the ice, thereby melting more of it as incoming solar energy is readily absorbed. Satellite imagery shows broad regions of dark ice across Greenland, particularly in western areas.“
Andrew Freedman, Washington Post