The whole world is warming up, and one of the major reasons for this is the melting of glaciers at both ends of the earth. And sea levels are rising: a nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean in the summer may happen three times sooner than scientists have estimated, causing major coastal cities to drown.
New research says the Arctic might lose most of its ice cover in summer in as few as 30 years instead of the end of the century. The amount of the Arctic Ocean covered by ice at the end of summer by then could be only about 620,000 square miles. That?s compared to today?s ice extent of 2.8 million square miles. There?s a good side to this: so much more open water could be a boon for shipping and for extracting minerals and oil from the seabed.