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Arctic ice continues to decline as global warming accelerates

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The rate of change is too fast.

The Arctic is melting and it's happening faster than anticipated. So far, Arctic sea ice has reached its lowest level ever on modern record. It is also thinner. While the Arctic sea ice does not contribute to sea level rise, it does serve as an indicator for how our climate is changing for the worse.

Highlights

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Arctic sea ice usually reaches its maximum in March. Despite this, its maximum is lower than ever previously recorded. The previous record low, set in 2015, has been beaten by an additional 5,000 square miles of ice, and is now at 5.607 million square miles.

To provide some perspective, the amount of sea ice lost over the average would cover both California and Texas combined. The new low is 431,000 miles less than the 30 year average.

Scientists, especially those who work in the Arctic, are universally shocked to see such low levels of ice.


Now, the ice will begin receding and reach its minimum in September.

There is no surprise that the planet is warming or that the Arctic ice is dynamic and breaking records. After all, Earth's climate is anything but steady, and it changes gradually over time. The problem is that the changes we're observing are happening much faster than nature can account for. Changes that previously took place over thousands of years are now occurring within decades.

This rapid change means natural selection cannot keep up, so many animals around the world go extinct because their environment changes faster than their genes can adapt.

Scientists are also concerned about seal level rise, which has already begun impacting some Pacific island nations and will continue to worsen until it threatens entire coastal cities around the globe.

The predicted consequences of global climate change are finally arriving. From severe weather, including epic droughts to record shattering temperatures, to crop failures, floods, famines, and disease, we are reaping the harvest of over a century of reckless pollution. Social upheaval is around the corner, and may have already arrived in the form of the Islamic State and other disruptive social changes. These are still up for debate, but are well within the realm of possibility because climate change impacts the ability of many people to survive by long-held, traditional means. Fishermen, for example, are finding it increasingly difficult to make their catches in an industry that is infamously hard.

It is time to think seriously about what is happening to our planet and how we as both nations and individuals can make meaningful efforts to mitigate the harmful effects of man-made climate change.

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