The new ice season is just starting, but the results of the 2012 ice melting season ought to be a major concern for everyone. Dismissing climate change as a liberal conspiracy is not going to cut it any longer.
"We are now in uncharted territory," Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said in a statement announcing the record low of 1.32 million square miles -- nearly half the average extent from 1979 to 2010. The extent has been tracked by satellite since 1979.
"While we’ve long known that as the planet warms up, changes would be seen first and be most pronounced in the Arctic," he added, "few of us were prepared for how rapidly the changes would actually occur."
Many experts expect the Arctic to be free of sea ice in summer at some point between 2015 and 2050.