Satellite Data Reveals Lowest Sea Ice Cover In Arctic Since 1979

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Sea ice levels within the Arctic region plunged to alarming lows in July last year. The ice recorded in August 2020 was the 3rd lowest ever recorded in the past 4 decades. The Antarctic figures were reassuring though, with the sea ice in September 2020 reaching levels higher than the average.

The polar regions of the world are the most sensitive to climate change and are among the most affected regions on earth. The yearly build-up and melting of the sea ice levels are a reliable indicator of climate change.

Any change in the Polar Regions implies the climate all around the world, despite the distance. They affect the earth’s climate through heat balance, carbon storage, and other ecological and environmental influences.

The most visible indicator is the presence or the absence of sea ice in the Arctic sea at the end of September each year. The ice cover in the polar region reaches its peak during March every year. But the warming influence of the release of greenhouse gases through human activity has led to a sharp decline in the Arctic ice cover. This was revealed by Pascal Peduzzi, the Director of GRID-Geneva which is under the UN Environment Program.

Sea Ice In The Arctic Sea Increasing Every Decade

Scientists have been observing the amount of sea ice within the Arctic sea every month since 1979. Recent figures have revealed that the minimum extent of sea ice in September is 36.5% less between 2010 and 2019 than it was in the 1980s.

Scientists at a recent Panel on Climate Change report said that there has been a reduction trend of around 2.8% each decade. The 2019 minimum sea ice extent in the Arctic sea is the second-lowest ever after 2012. This decline is likely to be unprecedented in the last 10 centuries, say the scientists at the intergovernmental panel. The decline of sea ice leads to less reflection and more absorption of heat by the oceans leading to an acceleration in the warming process of the oceans.

Read: Last Ice Area Shows Early Signs Of Melting; Could Mean The End Of The Polar Bear

This heating of the ocean will affect the weather and the composition of species, thus disturbing the ecosystem. The only way out is to reduce greenhouse gases immediately, and industrialized nations, mainly China, and the US have refused to do so.

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