Marika Holland, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder has published a study comparing the actual decline in the extent of Arctic sea ice with the climate change models. There is an undeniable trend of decline in the actual sea ice melting that is even more drastic than the most pessimistic computer models of the global environment. In fact, this latest data shows the melting ice is about 30 years ahead of schedule.
For those of you new to the global warming debate, the extent of polar ice coverage is critical to keeping temperatures low, because the ice is more reflective than the Earth or ocean beneath it. If the polar ice melts faster than expected, the bare earth or liquid water will absorb even more solar radiation and global temperatures will therefore increase faster than expected as well. This, of course, will melt more ice even faster, creating a positive feedback loop that will even further accelerate climate change.