Antarctic sea ice affected by melting

Antarctic sea ice affected by melting
South Shetland Islands, near Antarctica.

Antarctica seems to be facing more climate change than the Arctic so far. But, according to the team of researchers, the back ice that forms in part of the southern ocean in February – similar to the end of summer in the southern hemisphere – is at its lowest, forty-four. Years and the beginning of regular data collection.

The natural cycle of sea ice – ice floating in the ocean – assumes that it melts in the summer and re-emerges in the winter, with satellites recording areas of each season each year since 1978 more accurately. For a long time, the melting speed was in Greenland and the Arctic, but, conversely, in the rest of the world, in Antarctica, the trend was moderately upward, despite annual and regional differences.

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On February 25 this year, Antarctic sea ice measured 1.9 million square kilometers, the first drop since records began in 1978, according to a team of researchers. Mainly published in an article in the magazine on Tuesday, April 19, Sun Yat-sen University, Canton, China Advances in Atmospheric Science.

Unprecedented heat wave

Five years later the previous record was just 2 million km2In 2017, the area covered by sea ice fell below 2 million km for the first time2 ; This is 30% lower than the average for the three decades between 1981 and 2010.

This study confirms the observations made a few weeks before the arrival of the U.S. National Ice and Ice Data Center.Unprecedented heat wave in eastern Antarctica in March.

According to the authors of the study, the back ice disappeared by February 25 in the western Amundsen Sea and the eastern Rose Sea. Most generally, it began to decline from the beginning of the year, the beginning of September, and was recovered late, by the end of February, compared to 2017.

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“Evil Circle”

Cast iron is related “Thermodynamics”, I.e. the impact of temperature, but the movement of ice towards the north, to lower polar latitudes and to a thin layer of ice on the shores of the Amundsen Sea. The “Abnormalities” Summer is mainly found in the western part of Antarctica, which is more vulnerable to climate change than much of eastern Antarctica.

Melting has no effect on sea level because sea ice is formed by the freezing of salt water. But the low coverage is worrying.

When the white surface of the sea ice, which reflects the energy of the sun, is replaced by the dark surface of the ocean, “Has lower heat reflection and higher absorption”Qingua Yang, a professor at Sun Yat-sen University and one of the co-authors of the study, explains. “It melts more ice in a vicious cycle and creates more heat absorption”He describes.

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World with AFP

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