Stark video highlights Arctic sea ice decline

An interactive image showing how much Arctic sea ice has dropped highlights just how devastating the loss truly is.

NASA's image, one of the agency's 'Images of Change', shows a stark difference between sea ice extent in September 1984 and 2016.

Older, thicker sea ice has dropped dramatically, leaving mostly ice less than four years old.

"First-year ice now dominates the ice cover, comprising about 78 percent of the March 2016 ice pack, compared to about 55 percent in the 1980s," scientists wrote in the 2016 Arctic Report Card.

According to NASA, the amount of ice more than four years old has dropped from covering 1,860,000 square kilometres in September 1984, to 110,000 square kilometres in September 2016.

Towards Canada and Russia, it's not just the age but also the extent of the ice which has dramatically declined, in some sections completely vanishing.

Sea ice regularly melts and refreezes during the seasons, floating on the ocean and not affecting potential sea level rise.

Its minimum extent is usually during September.

Record high temperatures and record low snow cover is thought to have brought the sea ice to its lowest level in satellite history - or potentially, in thousands of years, according to data reconstructions from core drillings.

The drastic drop in ice cover across both the Arctic and Antarctic was highlighted in a graph last month.