Sea Ice In Arctic And Antarctic Hit Record Lows In November

Posted: Dec 7 2016, 4:03am CST | by , Updated: Dec 7 2016, 4:14am CST , in Latest Science News


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Sea Ice in Arctic and Antarctic Hit Record Lows in November
This is the Arctic sea ice extent: November 2016. Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NASA Earth Observatory)

Global warming seems to have caused sea ice melting polar records. A chunk the size of India has detached itself from the main polar regions due to this process.

High atmospheric temperatures and warmer oceanic currents caused record sea ice melting to take place at the polar regions. It is a case of a triple whammy.

A warm ocean, warm air and winds that rage on work in unison against the ice in the Arctic. Arctic sea ice amounted to 9.08 square kilometers for the month of November which just passed us by.

This is well below the 1981 to 2010 average, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder. Although the sea ice growth was greater than usual, the total extent went down. The decrease amounted to 50,000 square kilometers.

This meltdown was seen in the Barents Sea. It happens to be an unprecedented decrease for the month of November. A retreat of 14,000 square kilometers occurred in 2013.

November 2016 is the seventh month to have been a witness to this record low. Arctic ice is actually in its freeze-up mode nowadays due to the winter months which are extant. Sea surface temperatures in the Barents and Kara Seas remained elevated.

The winds from the south have a role to play in this sea ice meltdown equation. In a typical fashion, sea ice normally begins to form in the fjords at the start of November.

Yet this year there was no sea ice to be found. Also in the southern hemisphere, Antarctica had its sea ice reach a record low. Air temperatures have been four to six degrees Celsius higher than usual.

The strong westerly winds played their part as well. It all combined to form a sort of global warming trap which neither the Arctic nor the Antarctic were entirely free of.

Things seem to have really gone down the rabbit hole this time and the climate change scientists are looking deep into this matter in order to predict future trends.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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