The Arctic Ocean, located in the northern hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region. Arctic summer melting in 2007 set new records. The polar ice pack is thinning, and there is a seasonal hole in ozone layer in many years. Reduction of the area of Arctic sea ice will have an effect on the planet's albedo, thus possibly affecting global warming within a positive feedback mechanism
The most important areas of pack ice are the polar ice packs formed from seawater in the Earth's polar regions: the Arctic ice pack of the Arctic Ocean and the Antarctic ice pack of the Southern Ocean. Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice. In the end, it will just melt away quite suddenly. It might not be as early as 2013 but it will be soon, much earlier than 2040.
From the BBC Story:
Their latest modelling studies indicate northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years.
Professor Wieslaw Maslowski told an American Geophysical Union meeting that previous projections had underestimated the processes now driving ice loss.
Summer melting this year reduced the ice cover to 4.13 million sq km, the smallest ever extent in modern times.