One need only to look at a comparison of summer Arctic ice extent from 1979 to 2007 to understand something significant is happening. In the span of a generation, the millennia-old Arctic has shrunk by roughly two-thirds and could easily be ice free in the summer within a decade. Or if that is not enough, consider that in the winter of 2008, a massive chunk of ice broke off from the Antarctic Peninsula, and another ice sheet the size of Northern Ireland (or Connecticut, if you prefer) hangs on by a thread. Over the past fifty years, the Arctic and Antarctic have warmed by around 3 degrees Celsius, roughly double the rest of the world. The goal, simply put, is to prevent this harbinger.
Radical Environmental Change in the Polar Regions,
Sustainable Development Law & Policy
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/facsch_lawrev/1784