In September,2012 the arctic ice cover extended across barely 3 million km Sq. of the ocean. Considerably less than the previous minimum record of 4.3 million sq. Scientists fear that should this continue, it could have dramatic repercussions for the earth as well regional effects, Three examples:-
Narwhals:- These marine mammals with distinctive single tusks are found exclusively in the arctic. During winter they live under the edges of the pack ice cover, where they find refuge from killer whales and, more importantly, have a rich supply of crustaceans, squid and fish. when the ice-free season lasts longer or when the ice gets thinner, it leads to a deterioration in their living conditions.
Polar Bears:- Since their most important source of food is seal. Polar bears need to hunt on ice to satisfy their daily requirement of about 8 kg of meat. the longer the ice-free period last, the Shorter their hunting season get, affecting approximately 25,000 Polar bears in the Arctic. in the Hudson bay area they have already begun to hunt land-based prey, increasing the risk of human-animal conflicts.
Shipping:- the retreat of the polar ice has opened up new routes for the maritime trade, the northwest passage links the Atlantic north of Canada and the United States to the pacific and Shortens the connection to East Asia and Europe by about 5,000 km compared to Suez canal route used so far.
The Northeast passage is even shorter : As this route was first used in summer 2011 when 30 merchant vessels traveled along the ice-free north coasts of Europe and Asia_____ more than 100 such tours are already planned for 2013.