Left: Satellite view of ice and land. Right: Satellite view of open water and land.

In 2012, the Parry Channel—a portion of the long-sought Northwest Passage—went from ice-choked on July 17 (left) to open water on August 3 (right). Sea ice reflects most of the sunlight energy that hits it back into space; open water can absorb heat energy from the sun.

Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory. Public domain.

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3 January 2017 - 4:22pm