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Alarmingly low sea ice level in Antarctica. Experts alarm

Alarmingly low sea ice level in Antarctica. Experts alarm

Image source: Β© canva
Natalia Witulska,
18.09.2023 16:02

Global warming is reaching places that until recently were considered resistant to climate change. The sea ice surrounding Antarctica is at historically low level.

Climate change and global warming have now officially reached everywhere. Polar experts warn that Antarctica's sea ice has never been this low. A place that was thought to be immune to changing weather conditions has officially given up.

The unstable and melting ice in Antarctica could have far-reaching consequences for the whole planet. As we read on bbc.com, the vast ice expanse at the South Pole regulates the planet's temperature. This is because the white surface reflects the sun's energy back into the atmosphere and also cools the water beneath and near it. Without sea ice, Antarctica could turn from the Earth's refrigerator to a radiator, experts warn.

Antarctic sea ice at historic low level

The sea ice floating on the surface of the Antarctic Ocean currently measures approximately 17 million sq km. Experts point out that this is as much as 1.5 million sq km less than the previously known September average.

Antarctica sea-ice far lower than usual
Antarctica sea-ice far lower than usual (BBC)

As bbc.com reports, scientists are still trying to identify all the factors that led to this year's low sea ice level. The record-breaking heatwaves, devastating wildfires and rising ocean temperatures undoubtedly had an impact.

Sea ice forms in the Antarctic Ocean between March and October. It is an important part of the interconnected system that takes care of the Earth along with icebergs, land ice and ice shelves. It is practically a protective sleeve that prevents the ocean from heating up. If there is less of it, water temperatures will get higher and higher, and this will only accelerate the melting of the glaciers.

Even a small rise in sea levels can cause dangerously high storm surges that are capable of destroying coastal communities. Should significant amounts of land ice begin to melt, the effects would be catastrophic for millions of people around the world, the BBC reports.

Source: bbc.com

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