Why a Warming Arctic Has the U.S. Coast Guard Worried About the Rest of the Country

One of the perks of going out on a U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker in the Arctic is something called Ice Liberty. Ports are few and far between when you’re north of the Arctic Circle, so instead of shore leave, Coastguardsmen and women will locate a large slab of floating ice, cordon off a safe area, put up a watch for polar bears, and throw a football around. It’s cold, but worth it, says electrician master chief Mark Hulen, who, over the past two decades, has gone out for Ice Liberty on every one of his last six Arctic missions with the Coast Guard.


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