Antarctica Ocean ice melts to a record low

Mon 20 Feb 2023, 11:04:38
Scientists have reported that the Antarctic Ocean area covered by ice has shrunk to a record low. It exposes the thicker ice shelves buttressing Antarctica's ground ice sheet to waves and warmer temperatures.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center in the United States said Antarctica's sea ice fell to 1.91 million square kilometres this week, the lowest extent since records began in 1979.

The previous all-time low was set last year.

The Antarctic cycle undergoes significant annual variations during its summers of

thawing and winters of freezing. The continent has not experienced the rapid melting of the past four decades that plague the ice sheets of Greenland and the Arctic due to global warming.

But the high melt rate since 2016 raises concerns that a significant downward trend may be taking hold. Melting of the sea ice is problematic because it helps accelerate global warming.

Last week, Europe's Copernicus climate monitor (C3s) said that the January ice extent was already at a record low.

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