Arctic sea ice has melted to a record low this year, say researchers at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center.

According to scientists like David Barber from the University of Manitoba, what happens to Arctic sea ice is a huge indicator on what will happen to Canada and the world in terms of climate change.

"The thaw this year broke all the records that we had previous to this and it didn’t just break them, it smashed them," Barber told CBC News.

"The Arctic is changing so rapidly right now and that is connected to our global climate system, so it’s really a precursor to what is coming for the rest of the planet and it really should be an eye-opener for people."

Scientists say that at this rate there could be an ice-free Arctic as early as the summer of 2015.