Melting sea ice
Throughout the year, Sea ice in polar regions — covering an average of two-and-a-half times the area of Canada — enables the production of algae that supports the Arctic food web. The ice offers refuge for migrating seabirds, hunting grounds for seals, polar bears, and other important species, and grazing depots for krill and fish. Increased carbon emissions from human activity is causing Earth’s atmosphere to warm, melting polar ice and adversely affecting these vital habitats. Sea ice gains thickness during winter and melts partially during the summer and autumn; with the climate warming at its current rate, the Arctic Ocean may be ice-free during the summer, leaving coastal communities exposed to storms.