Arctic ice is melting at an accelerating rate. Arctic Ocean had shrunk last summer 2012 by half. The thickness of the remaining ice had dwindled by 80 %.
Arctic Ocean may become a frigid slush of fresh and saltwater in the summer within three to five years, according to a White House estimate
Melting Ice Opens Fight Over Sea Routes for Arctic Debate - Bloomberg
arctic Ocean is body of water roughly the size of Russia.
The countries that make up the Arctic Council -- Russia, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, the U.S. and Canada
Observers: China, Europe
Less ice also may mean easier access to oil and gas under the Arctic Ocean floor, resources the U.S. Geological Survey estimates may be 30 percent of the world’s undiscovered natural gas reserves and 13 percent of its undiscovered oil.