Clear skies in late June 2010 provided plenty of unfiltered sunlight to melt snow and ice in the Arctic. Arriving at roughly the same time as the Northern Hemisphere’s summer solstice, the conditions meant that unfiltered sunlight would reach the Arctic’s land and sea surfaces at a time of near round-the-clock daylight.

Credit: NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott, based on interpretation by Walt Meier and Ted Scambos, National Snow and Ice Data Center. http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=44524