According to the latest data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, sea ice in Antarctica has officially achieved a record low. On Tuesday, ice covered around 750,000 square miles of the region’s shoreline, which was much less than the record low of 815,000 square miles in March 2017.
Scientists are keen to remind out that it is still unknown what is driving the Antarctic ice loss. While scientists are clear that fast warming in surrounding oceans is to blame for Arctic ice loss in the planet’s north, the same cannot be stated for the planet’s south.
It’s really difficult to connect the two, especially when it comes to specific incidents like this one. So it’s not always the warm seas that immediately around the Antarctic sea ice that’s causing the problem.
However, there are signs that it is owing to a mix of factors, including abnormal weather patterns that result in higher sea surface temperatures and stronger-than-normal winds that have forced the ice towards warmer northern waters.
Another significant issue that has perplexed experts is the speed with which this decrease happened. When sea ice melts in Antarctica, it usually returns to average or even above-average levels for a period. The latest collapse, on the other hand, occurred more faster than planned.
Whether it’s due to hotter oceans, stronger-than-usual winds, or odd weather, the reality remains that the melt is probably not good news — and is most likely just another outcome of the harm we are doing to the Earth.
Reference- Futurism, National Snow and Ice Data Center, Findings, University of California, The New York Times