Decrease in Arctic Sea Ice

Introduction

Average Monthly Arctic Sea Ice Extent
October 1979 - 2017
Source: National Snow and Ice Data Center (U of CO, Boulder)
(click image to enlarge)

Arctic Sea Ice is declining annually at a rate of approximately 9.3% per decade. Although melting of sea ice does not change the level of the oceans directly, it nonetheless does occur because of global atmospheric warming, and that has major implications for the continental ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. If those were to melt entirely, it would cause the oceans to rise approximately 60 meters and would result in massive flooding in the world's highly populated coastal areas.