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Our Year of Extremes: Did Climate Change Just Hit Home?

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The dazzling icescape at the top of our planet is mutating into a place that is barely recognizable to those who have studied it for years.

The Arctic is home to some of the world's most dramatic climate change, scientists say, with warming oceans and air melting ice at a rate experts never imagined possible. The warming there has drastic implications for the rest of the earth, scientists say.

"The Arctic is a very useful bellwether of change, and it's ringing," Jason Box, an American glaciologist, told NBC News' Ann Curry. Curry traveled to far corners of the globe for "Ann Curry Reports: Our Year of Extremes - Did Climate Change Just Hit Home?"


The special, which takes a look at the Arctic, drought-stricken regions in the American West, rising seas on Florida's coastline, and extreme weather events all over the world, comes days after a panel of some of the world's top scientists delivered the sobering news that climate change is already being felt in every continent and across the oceans.

"It is a call for action," Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which issued the groundbreaking climate report Monday, told the Associated Press.

Those who have witnessed the Arctic's transformation loudly echo that call.      
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