Solstice Melting

by Carlos Sierra

Postdoc

Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
Germany

In the year 2012, the extent of artic sea ice was in the lowest level ever recorded. That summer I collected samples of melting permafrost soils at different locations in Alaska to study rates of carbon emission. On July 21st, the longest day of the year, I flew back from Alaska to Germany over the Arctic Ocean and witnessed the scale of ice melt. It melts in irregular patterns; starting with small melting ponds that grow in extent forming wedges of different sizes.



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