‘The planet as a whole is doing what was expected in terms of warming. Sea ice as a whole is decreasing as expected …’
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Along with shifting wind patterns in the southern hemisphere, melting land ice may be contributing to recent record extents of floating sea ice around Antarctica. The melting ice and snow adds fresh water — which freezes morel easily — to the salty Southern Ocean, scientists said in a release this week, explaining the multi-year trend of expanding Antarctic sea ice.
But the increase doesn’t balance the loss of sea ice at the other end of the Earth. Arctic sea ice has declined by an average of 20,800 square miles per year; the Antarctic has gained ice at a rate of about a third of that, by an average of 7,300 square miles per year.
This week, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reported that Antarctic sea ice extent set a new record high for daily extent: 20.11 million square kilometers (7.76 million square miles), the highest since satellite observations started in the late 1970s.
In July, a European study called into question the recent measurements, citing inconsistencies in computer models.
Other studies suggest the growth is only temporary, and that Antarctic sea ice will ultimately decline dramatically in the decades ahead.
The ice trackers matched this year’s late season ice surge with strong southerly winds blew over the Weddell Sea. Without any nearby land masses to constrain growth, those winds tend to push the ice northward. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, Arctic, climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Uncategorized | Tagged: antarctic sea ice, climate science, global warming, record antarctic sea ice | Leave a comment »