A few years ago, some scientists were predicting that the total volume of summertime ice in the Arctic, what many call the "air conditioner of the planet," could decline by as much as 75 percent by 2020. For the most part they were dismissed by their peers for being "too aggressive" in their climatological models. Now, thanks to two high-tech satellites capable of directly measuring both area and depth of ice (and thus calculate total volume), these experts have been vindicated.

The "aggressive" scientists were actually too conservative. The direct data from CryoSat-2 (pictured above) now shows that summertime ice will likely decline by 100 percent by 2020. In other words, there will be no ice in the summertime in the Arctic. And that may well usher in a permanent change toward extreme, prolonged weather events such as drought, flooding, superstorms and heat waves.

This video from Climate Nexus explains more:

The U.K.'s National Environmental Resource Council (NERC) confirmed the CryoSat-2 research last week. (You can read more on the NERC website.)

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