>>Interviewer: As we enter the dog days of summer in the United States, things are heating up even more farther north with melting Arctic sea ice. And here to join us from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland is Dr. Nathan Kurtz. Thanks for joining us. >>Nathan: Hi, thanks for having me. >>Interviewer: The Arctic is losing sea ice at a faster rate in recent years. How are things looking this year, and what are we seeing in the long-term trend? >>Nathan: Well throughout the summer, Arctic sea ice melts, and as the ice becomes thinner, some of the ice is not able to stay around as long during the summer. So this year what we're seeing is, melting is reaching a minimum extent of ice. And it's looking to be about the sixth to eighth lowest on the satellite record. So a slight rebound from the past year and 2012, where it was a record low, but in the long-term average what we've done, we've seen about a third of the ice cover is gone, about two thirds of the volume and about half the thickness has gone. So overall the long-term trend is that we're losing ice. >>Interviewer: Why are we seeing these changes in the Arctic? >>Nathan: Well we're seeing these changes because the ice is becoming thinner. It's not able to survive so long throughout the summer, we're also seeing these changes due to rising global temperatures. So the Arctic is increasing about two to three times the global average in terms of the temperature. And what this is doing is this is melting the temperature, and ice is a great bright reflector, it reflects a lot of the Sun's energy. Whereas the ocean is dark, it absorbs the energy. So as the ocean absorbs the energy because of the melting ice, it increases temperatures and this further melts the ice. We see a continued feedback of increasing temperatures and loss of ice. >>Interviewer: What is NASA doing to understand these changes? >>Nathan: NASA has a variety of satellites and aircraft which are used to study these changes. Next week we're launching the ARISE mission, which is meant to study the interaction of clouds and sea ice. So the ARISE mission will be flying through both clouds and over sea ice taking measurements of both aspects. And so clouds have an interesting impact on the climate. They're very important regulators of the climate. So, ARISE will study this. NASA is also launching ICESat-2 in about two years, which uses a laser to range to the surface. And this allows us to get an idea of how thick the sea ice and also how thick ice is on land, and how these are changing and give us a better perspective about how ice is changing on the planet. >>Interviewer: How will these changes affect the United States? >>Nathan: Well, these changes actually can have a large impact on the US. In particular, what's being studied now is the connection between the warming in the Arctic, loss of sea ice, and changes to the jet stream. So the jet stream is being changed because we have this more meandering cycle, it's these up and down bumps, these north and south bumps, they become larger, they become more extreme. And this brings more extreme weather to different parts of the US. And as the jet stream is changing, it's also becoming more stationary in points, bringing different weather to the US. >>Interviewer: Where can we learn more? >>Nathan: You can go to NASA.gov/EarthRightNow to learn more. You can learn more about the NASA missions that I talked about. You can see or download NASA data, and you can also see some really amazing pictures and videos of our home planet. >>Interviewer: Dr. Nathan Kurtz, thank you very much for joining us. >>Nathan: Thank you.