In response to today’s announcement from the National Snow and Ice Data Center on record low November Arctic sea ice levels, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released the following statement from Margaret Williams, managing director for US Arctic programs:
“It’s startling to see how little sea ice is out there right now - a frightening situation for Arctic wildlife such as walruses and polar bears that need sea ice habitat for feeding and breeding. As what will likely be the hottest year on record comes to an end, Arctic temperatures have been off the charts. This news is yet another alarming reminder that Arctic ecosystems and communities are experiencing the brunt of climate change, warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet.
“As longer open water seasons are making the Arctic Ocean more accessible, we need to safeguard the region’s future from additional threats, such as risky offshore oil development. We hope President Obama will act soon to permanently protect the Arctic from offshore drilling. Doing so will help reduce future planet-warming emissions and ensure the future resilience of this magnificent place.”