The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just released its 2010 Arctic Report Card, and things aren't looking good. The report warns that the Arctic is warming at such a rate that it's becoming increasingly unlikely that "normal" Arctic conditions will return in the near future. The first half of 2010 saw average Arctic temperatures 7 degrees higher than normal, the largest recorded loss of sea ice in Greenland, and a change in wind patterns that will only further increase the rate of climate change.
The scientists also believe that accelerated flows of water from melting glaciers are continuing to raise global sea levels. It all adds up to a very serious problem. The report was compiled by 69 scientists from 8 different countries, and has huge implications not only for the Arctic, but the world at large. Says one of the scientists, "Whatever is going to happen in the rest of the world happens first in the Arctic."
Photo: Satellite images taken on July 28, left, and Aug. 5, right, shows the Petermann Glacier in northern Greenland before and after a 110-square-mile piece of ice broke off. (NASA/AP)