Antarctic sea ice in shockingly sharp decline

Antarctic sea ice in shockingly sharp decline

ABC News (Au) reports:

This winter has confirmed what scientists had feared — the sea ice around Antarctica is in sharp decline, with experts now concerned it may not recover.

Earlier this year, scientists observed an all-time low in the amount of sea ice around the icy continent, following all-time lows in 2016, 2017 and 2022.

Usually, the ice has been able to recover in winter, when Antarctica is reliably dark and cold.

But this year is different. For the first time, the sea ice extent has been unable to substantially recover this winter, leaving scientists baffled.

Physical oceanographer Edward Doddridge has been communicating with scientists and the community about the drastic changes happening around Antarctica.

He said vast regions of the Antarctic coastline were ice free for the first time in the observational record.

“To say unprecedented isn’t strong enough,” Dr Doddridge said.

“For those of you who are interested in statistics, this is a five-sigma event. So it’s five standard deviations beyond the mean. Which means that if nothing had changed, we’d expect to see a winter like this about once every 7.5 million years. [Continue reading…]

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