Sea ice in Antarctica shrinks to record low

Sea ice in Antarctica shrinks to record low

Antarctica sea ice has shrunk to the smallest annual extent since the U.S. National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) started keeping record in 1979, preliminary satellite data revealed on Tuesday.

Ice floating around the Antarctica continent typically melts to its lowest level for the year near February’s end, which summer in the southern hemisphere. With the start of the autumn chill, level of ice grows again.

NSIDC said the level of sea ice in the region shrunk to 2.287 million square kilometers or 883,015 square miles as of 13th of February this year. That extent of sea ice is slightly smaller than the previous lowest level of 2.290 million square kilometers or 884,173 square miles recorded on 27th of February, 1997.

However, NSIDC Director Mark Serreze said that he would wait for some more days to make more measurements to confirm sea ice’s record low level.

Speaking on the topic, Serreze said, “But unless something funny happens, we're looking at a record minimum in Antarctica. Some people say it's already happened. We tend to be conservative by looking at five-day running averages.”

Many climate change skeptics often point to growth in Antarctic sea ice in the past years as evidence against the notion of global warming. However, some climate scientists linked the paradoxical growing in Antarctica ice to shifts in winds and ocean currents.