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The explosion was the second most powerful airburst of the 21st century.

This Arctic warming is especially notable near the Bering Strait. The ocean might be playing an outsized role in melting the ice too, as sea temperatures have been above average, both Labe and Kaleschke noted. Last year, ice levels remained low even when colder winds blew through the Bering Sea, "pointing to a potential role of anomalous ocean heat," said Kaleschke.

The Bering Strait should be covered in ice, but it's nearly all gone

In combination with these longer term warming trends, winds over the last several weeks have "battered the remaining sea ice," said Labe, noting that these same winds have boosted temperatures up to a whopping 30 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. That's right, an area the size of Montana has gone from some ice to mostly all water in six weeks. The sum of these conditions has meant profoundly little sea ice in the Bering Strait this year.

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Though, some ice may likely regrow when the winds shift later this month, said Kaleschke. We had to wait for the winter ice to freeze to a thickness of 4.

When the ice was frozen enough, a front loader could scrape a foot runway. Bering Air Service could land and bring us mail and freight daily. I miss those airplane days. We saw fresh produce and frozen meat products in our local store, in the winter and spring. Before climate change took our good ice seasons, helicopter service happened only in the summer and fall.

The Bering Sea is already nearly ice-free, setting up more havoc for its ecosystem and residents

Today, we see [helicopter service] throughout the entire year, once a week, weather permitting. Traveling out of Diomede via helicopter is extremely expensive, making it harder for people to travel in and out. All rights Reserved.

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    Bering Climate and Ecosystem

    Watch this robot fish swim, thanks to artificial blood By Katie Camero Jun. Scientists think the Chelyabinsk asteroid was about 65 feet 20 m wide at the time of its dramatic encounter with Earth. That object's explosion unleashed a whopping kilotons of energy.

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    But that output pales in comparison to a airburst over Siberia, which involved an asteroid thought to be about feet 40 m wide. This explosion, known as the Tunguska event , generated times more energy than the Hiroshima bomb and flattened about square miles 2, square kilometers of forest. It's the most powerful impact event in recorded history. And no, the gods don't have anything against Russia. Russia gets walloped by space rocks so much simply because it covers more area than any other nation.