Not just the Arctic: Antarctica's sea ice has also reached a new all-time low



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Not just the Arctic: Antarctica's sea ice has also reached a new all-time low

Not just the Arctic. Antarctica also has the same worrying and serious problem. The amount of sea ice surrounding Antarctica has dropped to an even lowest level on record in the current era, reaching a new all-time low. This is the second year in a row that the record for minimum sea ice extent has been broken, although it is still too early to tell whether this downward trend is likely to continue.

Scientists have been monitoring Antarctic sea ice levels using satellites since 1979. Typically, sea ice peaked at about 18.5 million square kilometers in September, before declining to about 2.5 million kilometers square at the end of February.

However, as of Feb. 21, data showed that just 1.79 million square kilometers of sea ice remained around the Antarctic coast, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). This is about 40% lower than the average recorded between 1981 and 2010 and is 136,000 square kilometers less than the previous record low set on February 25, 2022.

Not just the Arctic: Antarctica's sea ice has also reached a new all-time low

According to NSIDC's Julienne Stroeve: "Sea ice helps buffer large floating ice shelves and important outlet glaciers like Pine Island and Thwaites, and if these glaciers start more rapid loss of land ice, it could trigger a dramatic increase in rates of ice loss." sea level rise before the end of this century." Ted Scambos of the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences, told: "Antarctica's response to climate change has been different from that of the Arctic.

The downward trend in sea ice could be a sign that global warming is affecting the floating ice around Antarctica, but it will still be several years to be sure." Global warming, by pushing up the mercury column, is bringing temperatures at the Poles ever closer to zero, ever closer to the melting point.

Among the negative effects of an excessive melting of the glaciers that today cover Antarctica there is not only the rise in sea levels, but also a destabilization of sea currents, even the deepest ones.