The ice sheets and glaciers of the Arctic are melting. Faster than scientists expected.

The vast, pristine landscape is home to fragile ecosystems and unique biodiversity. It helps regulate our planet's weather and climate.

But as the ice melts, once inaccessible land and waters are opening up, unlocking a mineral wealth some are eager to exploit.

Al Jazeera’s Nick Clark presents a Planet SOS special from Iceland.

We take you to the Solheimajokull glacier which, like other glaciers around the world, is rapidly shrinking. And we are in the capital Reykjavik, where the Arctic Council Assembly is trying to navigate very different views on the Arctic.

Clark sits down with the head of the Arctic Circle Assembly and former president of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, to explore the future of this vital region.

Amanda Burrell explains the connection between the melting ice of the north and the rising seas further south.

And Planet SOS speaks to some of the many indigenous peoples of the Arctic who are fighting to protect their traditions and way of life and to ensure their voices are heard.

Finally, we travel to California where scientists are trying to find ways to stop the rising levels of carbon dioxide that is warming up our planet. They are experimenting with gene-editing technology that can supercharge plants, making them able to take in more carbon dioxide.

Source: Al Jazeera News