More than any other time in history, the issue of climate change is at the forefront of science and politics. The Trump administration's budget director Mick Mulvaney has stated "we're not spending money on that anymore" in regard to climate change research, calling it "a waste." Scientists at the northern most point in Alaska are in direct opposition to this point of view. Facing funding cuts, scientists from NOAA are scrambling to point out the situation happening with Arctic sea ice and why it matters.
Their observations show that temperatures are increasing two times faster than ever before. Sea ice that used to be 9 feet thick is now down to less than three feet thick. NOAA officials say that within a decade, the ice could be completely melted. If that happens, there could be widespread flooding that could devastate several communities. Already the changes in sea ice levels have set off a new jet stream pattern that has caused severe weather events in the lower 48 states, while in Alaska, entire villages have been destroyed by the loss of permafrost. It remains to be seen what will be a greater threat, climate change or politics.