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The Last Ice Area

One place is expected to retain its summer sea ice when it's mostly melted in the rest of the Arctic: this is the Last Ice Area.

The latest scientific projections agree that summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean will be largely gone within a generation. This will undercut a whole ecosystem dependent on sea ice.

The exception is a region in the high Arctic of Canada and Greenland projected to be the last stronghold of summer sea ice as the Earth continues to warm due to climate change. In the coming years, it will be essential as an enduring home for ice-dependent life.

Where is the Last Ice Area?

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This map shows the extent of summer sea ice projected for 2040 and beyond, as viewed from the north pole.

The prediction is for a fringe of ice to remain in Northeast Canada and Northern Greenland when all other large areas of summer ice are gone.

Why the Last Ice Area matters

Sea ice is a highway for Inuit, who use it to travel and hunt.
Polar bears need sea ice to hunt, and the Last Ice Area can be a refuge.
Most of the world's narwhals live in the Last Ice Area.
Global temperatures are affected by Arctic ice, and its ability to reflect the sun's heat.

Our solutions

How we work

Publications

Canada’s Arctic Marine Atlas
Canada’s Arctic Marine Atlas
17 September 2018
Canadian Arctic Greywater Report
Canadian Arctic Greywater Report
17 August 2018
The Circle 01.18
The Circle 01.18
1 May 2018
Polar Bear CAP Scorecard
Polar Bear CAP Scorecard
30 January 2018
The Circle 02.16
The Circle 02.16
27 May 2016
Last Ice Area Biophysical Reader
Last Ice Area Biophysical Reader
23 July 2014

Meet the team

Paul Crowley

Paul Crowley

WWF-Canada

Vice President, Arctic

Mette Frost

Mette Frost

WWF-Denmark

Senior Advisor, Greenland and the Arctic

Martine Giangioppi

Martine Giangioppi

WWF-Canada

Senior specialist, Arctic marine conservation

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