Arctic sea ice reaches its second lowest level

Arctic sea ice reaches its second lowest level

The Arctic shrank to its annual summertime ice minimum on September 10th, and to its second lowest level since scientists began monitoring it by satellite. Scientists attribute it to be another ominous sign of global warming.

The Arctic is heating up at about twice the average global rate making it the fastest warming region of the planet currently. The sea ice has been witnessing a downward trend since the ‘90s owing to long and hot summer, unseasonably warm winters, and earlier spring thaws.

Not just in an average, but the Arctic ice has been showing a downward trend every single month. Claire Parkinson and NicoloDiGirolamo of NASA Goddard graded monthly sea ice extents over 37 years and found statistics which showed that while Arctic had about 75 monthly record lows since 1979, there were no highs recorded.

The summertime minimum falls typically in the second or third week of September, making it a crucial month for tracking sea ice changes. This annual low has seen a steep drop since the early 2000s.

Despite this concerning trend, climate deniers like to point out the fact that over the same period the Antarctic has been gaining sea ice. Scientists regard this occurrence to be a result of shifting ocean currents and atmospheric oscillations and not some climate conspiracy. They say that two poles combined still show a downward trend in the level of sea ice.

A recent theory which is segregating scientists fears that the melting sea ice in the Arctic may affect the weather and jet stream further south, especially in winter months.

Michael Mann, Pennsylvania State University climate scientist said in this regard, “It looks increasingly likely that the dramatic decrease in Arctic sea ice is impacting weather in mid-latitudes and may be at least partly responsible for the more dramatic, persistent and damaging weather anomalies we've seen so many of in recent years”.


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