As of Sunday, September 16, 2012, the Arctic sea ice had reached a new low point–dropping from coverin 29 percent of the Arctic Ocean with ice to 24 percent. In the late 70’s a satellite was created to track the sea ice, which at the time covered about half of the Arcitic Ocean but has been declining rapidly ever since. Scientists believe the cause of this rapid decline is the excess amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere and believe this rapid change is only the beginning. Scientists also believe that the melting of the Arctic sea ice has had an effect on the atmospheric patterns of the northwest, causing more weather problems in the United States and other countries–but that has yet to be proven. The governments have decided to obtain the minerals that were previously blocked by the ice; as well as drill for more oil.