“The rate we are losing ice is phenomenal. This (climate change) is real. I think a lot of people don’t understand how fast things are changing up here”, said Gary Stern yesterday, a Canadian scientist from the University of Manitoba, in response to giant piece of ice, 20 square kilometers or 7 square miles, that just broke off of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf. This massive piece breaking loose ought to serve as yet another climate wake-up call in a long trend of rapidly accelerating ice melt in polar regions.

Stern is currently a co-leader of an international research program on sea ice aboard the Coast Guard icebreaker Amundsen in Canada’s north. He said it’s the same story all around the Arctic and that their team hasn’t seen any ice in weeks. “Nobody on the ship is surprised anymore,” Stern said. “We’ve been trying to get the word out for the longest time now that things are happening fast and they’re going to continue to happen fast.”

Polar regions are experiencing the impacts of global warming faster and more intensely than other parts of the world, and serve as important indications of the urgent need for action on a global scale. Check out our action gallery to see other citizens from Polar Regions who are speaking out about the urgency of climate change and getting to 350. We have little time left to avert the worst effects of global warming – help pass along the word to your community today with this news story, and by taking action to spread the word about 350.

For more climate movement news, follow 350 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram