The amount of sea ice in the Arctic has fallen to the lowest level on record, a confirmation of the drastic warming in the region and a likely harbinger of larger changes to come.
The amount of sea ice in summer has declined more than 40 percent since satellite tracking began in the late 1970s, a trend that most scientists believe is primarily a consequence of human activity.
“It’s hard even for people like me to believe, to see that climate change is actually doing what our worst fears dictated,” said Jennifer A. Francis, a Rutgers University scientist who studies the effect of sea ice on weather patterns. “It’s starting to give me chills, to tell you the truth.”
Scientific forecasts based on computer modeling have long suggested that a time will come when the Arctic will be completely free of ice in the summer, perhaps by the middle of the century. This year’s prodigious melting is lending credibility to more pessimistic analyses that it may come much sooner, perhaps by the end of the decade.
Its getting to be time when I'd like to see that distinguished group of media who call climate change a hoax go stand on the thinnest part of the Arctic ice and broadcast their nightly news.