Each year the Arctic ice sheet melts in the summer and refreezes during the winter. In recent times, more has been melting off and less coming back. The BBC has and interactive map on a situation already causing problems for humans.

Members of Russia’s parliament in a mini-submarine planted their country’s flag four kilometers (2.5 miles) below the North Pole…the voyage reflects growing international interest in the Arctic partly due to climate change, which is causing greater melting of the ice and making the area more accessible for research and economic activity.

Snow melt is already affecting other places too, including the Swiss Alps.

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