Scientists announced yesterday that Arctic sea ice had completed its summer melt and in the end reached the lowest extent since satellite measurements began. At the other end of the globe Antarctica was seeing the exact opposite as the ice at the South Pole grows to record levels.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said the Arctic sea ice had shrunk to 3.41 million square kilometers (1.32 million square miles). This was the lowest amount of ice since satellites began measuring the pack in 1979 and nearly 50% lower than the average.
“We are now in uncharted territory,” NSIDC Director Mark Serreze said in a statement. “While we’ve long known that as the planet warms up, changes would be seen first and be most pronounced in the Arctic, few of us were prepared for how rapidly the changes would actually occur.”
One significant contributing factor to the record was a major Arctic cyclone that struck the North Pole region at the beginning of August. The major storm tore apart more fragile parts of the icepack allowing the smaller pieces to melt.
NASA said, “The storm cut off a large section of sea ice north of the Chukchi Sea and pushed it south to warmer waters that made it melt entirely. It also broke vast extensions of ice into smaller pieces more likely to melt.”
To the south, Antarctica is seeing the exact opposite effect as has recorded the most ice ever at this point in the year. The growing ice on the continent reflects an overall trend of increasing ice extent at the South Pole since 1979 at a rate of approximately 1 percent per decade.
While the loss of Arctic ice is significant, so too is the growth of the ice in Antarctica. Nevertheless, the mainstream media, always quick to hype the latest global warming alarmism, fails to mention the latter.