In the Arctic, climate change is much more obvious than it is around here. The city of Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow) is the northernmost city in Alaska, and it has been having another in a string of excessively mild winters. So far in February, there have already been six days in the upper 20s and low 30s, which is 30 to 40 degrees above average. West of Alaska, ice in the Bering Sea actually receded 35 percent during January as a series of strong storms brought powerful winds that broke up the thinner than usual ice.

Summer after summer, the ice of the Arctic Ocean has shrunk, exposing more open water, which absorbs sunlight much more efficiently than ice during the six-month Arctic summer day. This positive feedback loop keeps the climate warming at the top of the world, increasing the melting of glacial ice on Greenland. The impending sea-level rise will force a gradual but very expensive rebuilding of coastal cities, which we will all pay for.

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