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The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of anywhere else

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The new normal?

Arctic sea ice in Beaufort/Chuckchi Seas seen from NOAA's P3 flight in autumn 2014
Arctic sea ice in Beaufort/Chuckchi Seas seen from NOAA's P3 flight in autumn 2014
NOAA/PMEL

The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of anywhere else on Earth — and it won't just be the polar bears who suffer. Snow was well below average, and on the Eurasian side of the Arctic, set a new record low in April. Sea ice in September was the sixth-lowest on record.

These findings come from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's annual Arctic Report Card, which began in 2006 and has been published every year since.

Less ice and more water meant that more plants bloomed in the ocean — and there was more This may be an indication of things to comegreenery on the tundra as well, the report said. In fact, as of 2013, the amount of biomass on the tundra increased 20 percent since 1982. Melting occurred across almost 40 percent of the Greenland ice sheet. Earlier this year, scientists said the collapse of an Antarctic ice sheet was probably permanent, and would raise the sea level by 10 feet or more. The sea level rise and changes in the tundra suggest more species will lose their habitats.

This may be an indication of things to come: an Arctic that's less cold and more green. Some scientists expect that eventually the Arctic won't have any ice at all in the summer by 2100; others think it will happen sooner, The New York Times says.