The level is sea ice in the Arctic has dramatically decreased. Since 1979 when scientists established the last records of ice layers, they have gradually decayed. Data received from the US satellite indicates that the ice located in the southern-most area of the planet has shrunk to 2,287 million square kilometers. On February 13, the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has taken the preliminary data measurement.
In 1997, it was the last time when scientists measured the lowest ice cover level when they established that the sea ice measured approximately 2,290 million square kilometers. Mark Serreze, the director of NSIDC, stated that they have always considered the Arctic as being a “sleeping elephant” which was starting to become more and more agitated.
Serreze noted that NSIDC measures the ice layers extent by five-day running averages. Thus, NSIDC will continue its analysis regarding the sea ice level for a few more days before it confirms the low record. In February, the sea ice extent is usually the most decreased one due to the fact that the southern hemisphere is mostly rotated towards the sun.
As winter arrives, more ice is bound to form, and the planet is slowly turning, tilting the other direction. In recent years, the average amount of ice from the south pole has gradually expanded. What is more, this was used by some climate change skeptics as a proof, arguing that global warming is not real.
NSIDC has pointed out the Arctic sea ice levels have severely declined. In October 2016, scientists have recorded low daily ice extents which continued for a few more months until January this year. There were registered extremely low figures for the month of January in the last 38 years. Moreover, records indicated that the sea ice in January 2017 has diminished by 100,000 square miles compared to January 2016.
NSIDC reported that air temperatures were high above the average almost over the entire Arctic Ocean. Nevertheless, climatologists argue that we should keep in mind the fact that in 2016 global temperatures reached record levels, hitting a high mark for the third year in a row.
Greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide cause the warming of this planet. Temperatures registered in the Arctic were about 20 degrees Fahrenheit above average.
Image courtesy of: wikipedia