Tuktoyaktuk: The Arctic Ocean has given up tens of thousands more square kilometers of ice on Sunday in a relentless summer of melt, with scientists watching through satellite eyes for a possible record low polar ice cap.

There is a time bomb ticking under the world, but its leaders seem not to be aware of it. This bomb is different from any that war, terrorism and the movies have made us familiar with, because it cannot be defused at the last moment. This one has to be defused as soon as we hear it ticking. Otherwise, the countdown becomes unstoppable. All we can then do is run for shelter.

This latest report is on Arctic and the Antractic under assault from the impacts of rapidly accelerating climate change, from increased industrialisation; and from the unchecked consumption of our planet's resources.

More than 17 million people in Bangladesh would be displaced by a sea level rise of 1.5 metres, warned Jonathan Bamber, a professor at Bristol University in England, disclosing a study report which found that a collapse of the ice sheet of West Antarctica would push up world sea levels by 3.3 metres (11 ft) over hundreds of years.

A team of British adventurers measuring ice conditions in the Canadian Arctic said on Wednesday they did not find the thicker, older ice that scientists expected to be there.

Instead they found only the thinner, predominantly first-year ice that is likely to melt in summer months, in what could be another sign of the impact climate change is having on the Arctic ice sheets.

This report addresses some of the major questions facing climate change researchers, and how those puzzles are being addressed by NSF-funded activities. Complex computer models are being developed and refined to predict Earth

Arctic nations agreed on Wednesday to crack down on soot that is darkening ice around the North Pole and hastening a thaw that they also blamed on global warming.

A decade-long decline in the ice covering the Arctic Sea is continuing, according to new U.S. data, and other measurements give fresh indications that the area's ice cap is thinning as well.

The fourth International Polar Year, which began in March 2007 and ends this March, is another example of countries coming together to contribute funds and expertise to basic research. Many countries have been independently studying the Poles.