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Arctic And Antarctic Sea Ice Level Very Low

First Posted: Dec 20, 2016 03:10 AM EST
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Both Arctic and Antarctica show records lowering in sea ice extent in November, with scientists amazed to check Arctic ice truly withdrawing at a time once the region enters the cold darkness of winter. Warm temperatures and winds drove record declines in sea ice at each polar region in November compared to the 38-year satellite record of ice extent for the month.

Arctic sea ice extent averaged 9.08 m sq km that would be 3.51 sq miles for November, which is 1.95 m sq km or 753,000 sq miles below long-term average from 1981 to 2010 for the month. Scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) stated that Arctic sea ice extent unfit for a brief time in the mid-November is an almost unprecedented event, according to Business Insider.

Sea ice shrank by around 50,000 sq km or 19,300 sq miles during the span of time, principally within the Barents Sea. This decline that also happened to a smaller degree in November 2013 removed a piece of ice larger than Denmark from the Arctic at a time that sea ice is typically growing, as reported by The Guardian.

NSIDC Director Mark Serreze stated that it appears like a triple whammy -- a warm ocean, a warm atmosphere and a wind pattern all operating against the ice within the Arctic. The average extent of ocean ice in Antarctica last November was 14.54 m sq km unit or 5.61 sq miles, which is 1.81 m sq km or 699,000 sq miles below the 1981 to 2010 average.

This quite doubles the previous record low for the month of November. Ted Scambos, the lead scientist at NSIDC, stated that Antarctic sea ice truly went down the rabbit hole this time. Also, his colleague Walt Meier, who also works at NASA, added that the Arctic has typically been where the most interest lies. But this month, the Antarctic has flipped the script and it is the southern sea ice that is surprising people.

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