Going, going, gone by 2040(?)--arctic sea ice may vanish within our lifetimes. Effects are hard to predict, but some sea mammals are likely casualties.
Rapid changes are surprising scientists, including the loss of ice shelves on Canada's remote northern coasts. One particular event was startling, an ice island bigger than 11,000 football fields went walkabout one fine summer day in 2005.
Loss of sea ice is linked to global warming, which has recently been admitted by the US government to be caused by humans. In an announcement that 2006 was the warmest year on record, the Bush adminstration finally admitted that humans are a cause of global warming. Public affairs officials were suprised, since they were used to Bush administration higher-ups trimming such language out of press releases.
We seem to be headed for an ice-free Arctic Ocean by 2040 if we don't do something soon (see model results above).