Both Arctic and Antarctic sea ice is dropping at an alarming rate, significantly lower than normal for the time of year.
During this time of the year, towards the end of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and the end of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, sea ice usually reaches its lowest extent.
However, what is unsettling, is that this current extent is unprecedented when comparing to previous averages or record lows, across both sides of the globe.
In the Arctic, sea ice is 6th lowest on record, behind 2012, 2020, 2007, 2016 and 2019. It is still declining despite the start of the northern hemisphere autumn.
Antarctica is experiencing an alarming decline in sea ice levels during its winter months, with measurements now reaching historic lows.
The once-stable sea ice surrounding Antarctica, which plays a crucial role in cooling the Earth, has dwindled to less than 17 million square km.
This figure represents a staggering 579 million square miles less than the average sea ice extent for September, and it falls well below the previous record lows ever observed during winter.
Such a dramatic reduction in sea ice has significant implications for global climate dynamics, as Antarctica transitions from being Earth's refrigerator to becoming a radiator of heat.
Experts are not optimistic about the possibility of a substantial recovery in sea ice levels. This trend is exacerbated by a recent extreme heatwave that struck East Antarctica in March 2022.
During this anomalous event, temperatures in East Antarctica reached around -10°C, a stark contrast to the typical -50°C temperatures expected there during that time of year.
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