Arctic Sea Ice Close To All-Time Low

Researchers believe the Arctic will be completely
free of summer ice within a generation due to global Polar_bear_w_young_usfws
The Wall Street

reports. The consequences of the disappearing sea ice are massive: the Arctic
ice cap reflects the sun’s rays, which keeps earth’s polar regions cool and
moderates global temperatures.

In addition, the shrinking
sea ice is increasing the pressure on
polar bears in the region. In May, Secretary of
the Interior Dirk Kempthorne
listed polar bears as threatened under the
Endangered Species Act, citing this loss of sea ice as a current and future
threat to wildlife habitats.

Ice and snow reflect the
sun’s heat, but open water absorbs more heat which speeds up warming and raises
sea levels. The more ice that melts during summer, the less ice is recovered in
winter, writes
USA Today.

Arctic sea ice has shrunk to the
second-lowest level since record-keeping began three decades ago, the
Washington Post reports. With more than two weeks left in
the Arctic summer, this year could wind up breaking the previous lowest level

Published: September 2, 2008