Nice article by Neil Shea, over at American Scholar, on traveling through the changing Arctic.
Since the late 1970s, the Arctic has lost an average of 21,000 square miles of sea ice each year, according to scientists at NASA. Put another way, if you were to imagine sea ice as a territory the size of the United States, then Alaska and the Pacific Coast would have melted away, along with Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and most of Montana. The scale of loss is astonishing, and the negative trend continues. One researcher told me that to understand it, I had to think in unprecedented terms: “There’s a new ocean opening up before us in real time,” he said. “That hasn’t happened before.”