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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Polar Region Unfrozen in just 30 Years

September 14, 2011, 8:30 AM
Ice_breaker

What's the Latest Development?

Arctic sea ice has melted to a level not recorded since satellite observations started in 1972, and almost certainly not experienced for at least 8,000 years, say polar scientists. German researchers say the sea-ice retreat can no more be explained by the natural variability from one year to the next—the record melt is due to human-made global warming.

What's the Big Idea?

If current trends continue, a largely ice-free Arctic in the summer months is likely within 30 years, up to 40 years earlier than previously anticipated. The last time the Arctic was uncontestably free of summertime ice was 125,000 years ago. Floating Arctic sea ice naturally melts and re-freezes annually, but the speed of change has shocked scientists—it is now twice as great as it was in 1972.

 

Polar Region Unfrozen in ju...

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