There's now an area of open ocean bigger than Alaska, Texas, and California combined where Arctic ice used to be. Gulp.
New research out of the National Snow and Ice Data Center shows that the current Arctic thaw is unprecedented. The center released an image of the Arctic ice cap compared to its median size since 1979. As PRI's The World's Marco Werman put it, the space between today's ice and the median "has been replaced by an area of open ocean bigger than Alaska, Texas, and California combined."