Alaska’s sea ice has completely melted away this year – earlier than ever before.
According to experts, the state has no sea ice within around 150 miles of its shores, which has happened before – notably in 2017 – but never this early.
The melting, which follows an above-average heat Arctic Summer with a July heatwave, not only has ramifications for the Arctic climate, but for the Earth as a whole, according to reports.
Mark Serreze, Director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), told TIME: “Basically, if you look at Point Barrow – the northernmost point of Alaska – there’s probably no sea ice within 300 to 350 miles right now.
“So what we’re seeing is that because the sea is disappearing is very much in agreement with the fact that everything is warming up in the Arctic.
“The atmosphere is warming. The oceans are warming. The sea ice is getting hit by both sides [of climate change.]”