Here’s what vanishing sea ice in the Arctic means for you

‘This article discusses how warming oceans and disappearing sea ice will affect everyone.

As the world’s temperatures go up, the Arctic keeps losing its ice. This winter, the area covered by sea ice was the second smallest on record — after last year. And many experts believe that this summer, the Arctic ice cap will shrink to record lows. Why should I care, you ask?

“The Arctic is a natural freezer,” says Michael Mann, a climatologist and director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, in an email to The Verge. “Just like you’d be concerned if all of the ice in your freezer melted, so should you be concerned about the loss of Arctic sea ice.”

The changes that are happening in the Arctic don’t just affect the Arctic. Our planet is an interconnected system, and the vanishing ice is already having ripple effects down south. Among them: faster global warming, rising sea levels, and possibly more extreme natural disasters. (Plus, the polar bears will suffer.) Scientists are still trying to figure many things out, but pretty much everyone agrees that a melting Arctic isn’t a good thing.

The article discusses the Albedo Effect, Sea Level Rise, More Severe Weather, and Thawing Permafrost, and several studies that the analysis is based on.

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