Last year scientists locked a ship in Arctic ice. The summer melt shocked them.

In 2019, climate scientists deliberately locked The Polarstern into an Arctic ice floe about 500 km from the North Pole, taking detailed and novel measurements. Scientist Gunnar Spreen of MOSAiC, aka the Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate, shared a grim report about the summer melt. Via Earther:

But there should not nearly be as much open water as there is right now. In the summer, ice now covers just half the area it did in the 1980s, and has become younger and far thinner, too. All told, the Arctic has lost 75% of its volume of ice in the past 30 years.

Up near the North Pole, this is all creating breathtaking scenes. The vast, deep blue ocean is covered in splintering white ice floes. Those floes are spotted with melt ponds, or shallow pools of water form which form on their surface and reflect the bright turquoise sky.

"It's actually quite beautiful," said Spreen.

Check out the article for images of the beauty and tragedy unfolding.

Image: YouTube / Seeker