NASA Announces New Record Growth Of Antarctic Sea Ice Extent


Researchers have measured a new record for sea-ice extent in the Antarctic. Why the white splendour is extending there while it is rapidly disappearing in the Arctic is a mystery.

Whenever the ice at the North and South Pole is mentioned, it is mostly in the context of melting ice triggered by global warming. However, the sea ice in Antarctica – in contrast to that in the Arctic – has proved to be remarkably robust. New measurements have now confirmed that. As the U.S. space agency NASA announced, the sea ice in the Antarctic has extended over an area of ​​19.47 million square meters at the end of September. That is the highest since measurements began in 1979.

The result is based on data from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) on board of the Japanese satellite “GCOM-W1″. “The winter maximum has been a record for on the second consecutive year” said Walt Meier, a meteorologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. However, he stressed that it is by no means a rapid growth: The now measured maximum extent is only 3.6 percent above the average maximum extent of 1981 to 2010. “This year, the ice edge extends therefore only 35 kilometres further out to sea than in an average year,” Meier said.


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