The North Pole may become free of ice this summer for the first time in human history. Thick Arctic sea ice that normally covers the polar region has been replaced by ice that formed only in the last year and is susceptible to seasonal melting, reports the Independent. It's a disturbing, symbolic landmark in global warming, scientists warn.
"For the first time that I am aware of, the North Pole is covered with extensive first-year ice—ice that formed last autumn and winter," said an expert with the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado. "I'd say it's even odds whether the North Pole melts out."