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Scientists Say the Arctic Is Getting Warmer and Greener

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Climate change is real and it's doing a number on the Arctic, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

At a conference in San Francisco Wednesday, NOAA scientists revealed that the Arctic has lost a record amount of summer sea ice and late spring snow this year.

NOAA chief Jane Lubechenko says that because of climate change, "the Arctic is warming at more than twice the rate of the rest of the planet."  In fact, she said, it's becoming a greener and warmer place.

The effect is particularly noticable in Greenland, where the melting of the glaciers affects people all over the planet, while in northernmost Europe, the Arctic fox is close to extinction and vulnerable to the encroaching red fox.

Back in the U.S., only 7 percent of the lower 48 states is covered by snow right now compared to 30 percent in 2011.

Overall, the NOAA scientists believe that the trend will be more sea ice melting and less of the years where it builds back up.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio