Antarctic sea ice reached record growth levels this season, according to new data released by the National Snow and Ice Data Center on Tuesday.
Officially speaking, the Antarctic reached its winter maximum on September 22 growing to 7.76 million square miles, the largest it’s ever been since record keeping began in the 1970s.
According to The Weather Channel, the record was anticipated, as the last three years have all had increasingly large ice formations. Complementary to this is the reduction in Arctic sea ice at the opposite pole of the last few years. Ice at the North Pole experienced its sixth-lowest formation last month as the South Pole was freezing over at record levels.
“Nearly every day has been a record for that day in the satellite record” this year, said Ted Scambos, a senior scientist with NSIDC.
NBC News reported that the reason sea ice around Antarctica is growing isn’t entirely clear, but scientists have hypothesized that it could be caused by changing wind patterns, or changing melt rates at the continent’s edges — which produces fresher water that freezes at higher temperatures.
Taking a global perspective, NASA scientists said that in terms of climate change the planet is losing ice overall.
“The planet as a whole is doing what was expected in terms of warming. Sea ice as a whole is decreasing as expected, but just like with global warming, not every location with sea ice will have a downward trend in ice extent,” Claire Parkinson, a senior scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said in one of the organization’s blog posts.
[by Nick Sanchez, writing for NEWSMAX]
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