UNDATED (WTVB) - Is the earth’s air conditioner about to go on the fritz? Climate experts are pointing to melting Arctic sea ice as proof Earth is warming up with potentially dire consequences. Researchers at the U.S. National Snow andIceDataCentersay Arctic ice melted to its lowest level on record this year. Not that there's a shortage.
Ice still coveres more than one-point-three-million square miles when it reached its low point around September 16th but that's still the smallest figure since record keeping began 33 years ago. Scientists say the record for Arctic ice melt was reached on August 26th when shrinkage fell below the previous record set in 2007.
Then the ice kept melting. The Arctic is often referred to as Earth's air conditioner. With less ice theArcticmay begin adding more heat and moisture to the worldwide climate. That can shift the jetstream, allowing tropical air to move further north and chilly Arctic air to move further south. Some experts now believe theArcticcould be totally barren of ice before 2050.