Sea ice has hit record lows for this time of year, data also show. "It's just crazy, crazy stuff," says a scientist who has been studying the polar region since 1982.
Scientists blame global warming for the dwindling ice cover on the Arctic Ocean that the bears need for hunting seals each spring.
His five-year plan would open up federal waters off the California coast, as well as new areas off the East Coast from Georgia to Maine. Drilling in the affected regions has been blocked for decades.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that the current rates of Arctic warming and sea ice decline have not been seen in over one thousand years.
New research analyzes the decline of the region's ecology by weighing natural variability and human factors.
Western postwar scientific studies in the Arctic were primarily driven by military concerns about Soviet activities in the region.
The latest Arctic Report Card from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finds that the region's temperatures continue to climb upward twice as fast as the global average.
A warming climate is exposing the Arctic to the possibility of radical changes that could endanger the rest of the planet, scientists say.
By 2050, humans will have added enough carbon dioxide to earth's atmosphere to melt all the Arctic’s sea ice, researchers predict.
The effects of Arctic climate change on the jet stream could mean harsher winters for some of the most highly populated regions of the world.