Arctic Sea Ice Drops to Second Lowest Level on Record
As tracked by the US Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in Bolder, Colorado, the extent of Arctic sea ice this month dropped to the second lowest level on record. The sea ice extent was measured at 4.14 million square kilometers, a figure that was only beaten in 2012.
The extent of ice in the region has long been considered to be a sensitive indicator of changes in the earth’s climatic system. Scientists have been collecting satellite data for over 35 years with researchers analysing how long ‘good ice’ remains in the 19 Arctic regions inhabited by polar bears.
Commenting on the latest findings, Dr Jan Lieser from Australia’s Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre told CNN News; “Sea ice has a great ability to reflect a lot of solar radiation back into space. We still have some sea ice (but) to say that it is where it used to be is saying you can serve a cup of tea in a broken cup. If the cup’s broken, the shards of the cup are still there but you can’t serve tea in it can you? With sea ice it’s comparable, it’s broken, it’s thinner than it used to be and it doesn’t serve the climate purpose it has for centuries.” Sea ice refreezes over the winter period reaching a yearly peak in March.
You can read more details on Arctic Sea Ice HERE.