Climate change. Another way to picture sea ice loss

In the 1980s, the average extent of sea ice extent in the Arctic was roughly equal to the area of the contiguous United States, minus Washington and Oregon. In September 2007, the sea ice minimum dropped so far below the 1980s average that the area shaded in blue became open water, and the white and turquoise areas would have remained ice-covered. The September 2012 minimum was lower still, such that the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas were also ice free, along with all of the states to the east.

Will either Obama or Romney will talk about climate change or the hazards of drilling for oil in the newly exposed Arctic in their “debate” tonight?