An area of Arctic sea ice the size of Canada and Alaska combined is gone.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released an animation that shows the daily average loss of sea ice between 1979 and 2012. Scientists say the drastic decline is sign of long term global warming.
In March this year, it was reported that the last decade has been the hottest worldwide, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture released data showing that warmer weather plants are now thriving further north.
In 2012, the rate of ice loss for August was 91,700 square kilometers (35,400 square miles) per day, the fastest observed for the month of August over the period of NOAA's satellite observations. Oceans are 30% more acidic now and the atmosphere is 5% wetter in the oceans.
The ice melting has sped up. Scientists are warning that storms in the winter this year will be more likely to be extreme and summers will be hotter.
Monday, the UK's Guardian reported that Prof Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University is predicting the final collapse of Arctic sea ice in summer months within four years, which could lead to a global disaster.
As Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks points out, it does not matter whether global warming is the result of human activities or not — it is something that needs to be seriously addressed.
Religious right and conservative activists in the United States argue that global warming is a myth. In 2010, for instance, the South Dakota legislature unanimously passed a resolution declaring that schools should teach that global warming is a scientific theory, not a scientific fact. A number of Republican state platforms referred to global warming as a myth this year, with Iowa's GOP declaring that "We believe that claims of human-caused global warming are based on fraudulent, inaccurate information and that legislation and policy based on this information is detrimental to the wellbeing of the United States. We deplore extremist scare tactics not based on scientific evidence. We recognize it as a plan to take our freedoms and liberties away from the people through legislation."
In 2010, religious right activists like Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission's Richard Land, Concerned Women for America's Wendy Wright, Home School Legal Defense Association's Michael Farris, National Religious Broadcasters' Frank Wright, WallBuilders' David Barton, and radio talk-show host Janet Parshall all teamed up to produce and appear in a documentary called "Resisting the Green Dragon" that warned that environmentalism represents "a great threat to society and the church" and called for "a biblical response to the times in which we live."