From September 3 to September 9, researchers say 69,000 square miles of Arctic ice disappeared, roughly the size of the Sunshine State.70,000 square miles -- or, a bit smaller than Syria --lost in 6 days. Let's see what next summer is.
Scientists say the rate of melting in 2007 has been unprecedented, and veteran ice researchers worry the Arctic is on track to be completely ice-free much earlier than previous research and climate models have suggested.
"If you had asked me a few years ago about how fast the Arctic would be ice free in summer, I would have said somewhere between about 2070 and the turn of the century," said scientist Mark Serreze, polar ice expert at the NSIDC. "My view has changed. I think that an ice-free Arctic as early as 2030 is not unreasonable."
The words "tipping points" have been overused, but what if we're seeing one in the rearview mirror right now?