NASA doesn’t just search for life on other planets, its satellites also search the Earth for evidence of melting glaciers. Their "IceSat," which uses lasers to measure the thickness of ice, has discovered that Arctic ice is vanishing 50% faster than expected–at a rate of almost 500 cubic miles per year, since 2004.The Arctic is warming much faster than the rest of the planet.

On BBC News, Roger Harrabin quotes climate researcher Seymour Laxon as saying, "We have to be cautious until our data has been properly analyzed as part of a climate model, but this does suggest that the Arctic might be ice-free in summer for a day at least by the end of the decade.

The light-colored sea ice bounces warmth back into space, so if it disappears, the Arctic Ocean will absorb more heat, which will cause more warming and sea level rise. We can always hope: Harrabine quotes Laxon as saying, "But the past is not always a guide to the future."

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