The National Snow and Ice Data Center just released some fresh satellite images showing that the sea ice at the South Pole hit another all-time low this winter, around mid-September.
This is the third time in only seven years that Antarctica’s sea ice has smashed the same record — which kinda suggests that the farthest point of the Earth might be getting used to a worrying new routine.
The Antarctic sea ice is super important. Not only does it help prevent rising ocean levels and protect the homes of Antarctic creatures, but it also acts as a shield, reflecting the Sun’s rays away from our planet.
Basically, when more ice melts, the Earth loses its Sun protection, which just makes all these problems even worse. And unfortunately, scientists who study the area can definitely feel how the sea ice is deteriorating.
The melting of Antarctica has already made the sea levels rise a bit. In 2020, scientists found out that the melting ice sheets on the continent had caused a 7.2-millimeter increase in sea levels worldwide since the early 1990s.
Although it may not seem like a big deal, the surplus of ocean water is already having a noticeable effect on coastlines and islands. Just recently, the native people of Carti Sugtupu, a Pacific island, had to make the tough choice to leave their sinking home before it’s too late. On top of that, certain states in the US, like Louisiana, are losing massive chunks of land due to the rising sea levels.
This could be a pretty concerning sign of Antarctic climate change that we haven’t seen in the past 40 years and is just now starting to show up.
Reference- BBC, National Geographic, Nature, NewYorker, Futurism