Arctic ice may be gone in one to three decades

If you’ve been planning a trip to the Arctic, better buy your tickets now, because it’s a-meltin’ fast. (Perhaps you’ve heard?) A record low amount of ocean froze over this winter — a reduction of over 115,000 square miles of sea ice from last year. Researcher Walt Meier of the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center says there is “a good chance” that the Arctic has reached a tipping point: ice decline has accelerated since 2003, and if the trend continues, the Arctic could be ice-free by 2030. The U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in California plans to publish computer simulations showing that in summertime the Arctic could be ice-free within a decade. Loss of ice could have a huge impact on Arctic animals like polar bears (not to mention Santa Claus). Said Meier, “If we are heading for an ice-free Arctic, it’s a really dramatic change and something that is unprecedented almost within the entire record of human species.” Eek.