The ice around Antarctica has dropped to a record level, which is "far beyond the limits of the possible"
Antarctic sea ice levels continue to reach new horrific lows. This is the third time in seven years that this figure has reached a record in winter.
This is stated in a study by scientists published in the scientific journal Nature. The researchers suggest that the new records are a sign that the southernmost point of the Earth may be heading for a new alarming norm.
According to the BBC, satellite images from the National Snow and Ice Data Center showed that in mid-September, sea ice levels at the South Pole reached another record low for the winter season.
This is the third time in the last seven years that Antarctic sea ice has broken the same record. Scientists fear that this record figure may become the norm for the region in the near future.
Walter Meyer, a senior scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said the record ice loss is "so far beyond anything we've seen that it's almost mind-boggling."
But the sea ice around Antarctica is not just a whim of nature, as it is incredibly important to humanity. Melting sea ice threatens to raise ocean levels and cause habitat loss for Antarctic residents.
In addition, the frozen polar zones serve as a protective solar shield, deflecting the sun's rays from the Earth. So the more ice disappears, the less protection from the sun there will be. This, in turn, will trigger a chain reaction as more ice starts to melt, so each of the problems will only get worse.
"We're seeing how much more vulnerable it (the ice - Ed.) has become," said Robbie Mallett, a researcher at the University of Manitoba who works in the Antarctic.
He warns that such fragility could eventually make it difficult for scientists to work in Antarctica, as the ice they will be on could simply break off and float to the sea.
In 2020, scientists discovered that Antarctic melting has already caused sea levels to rise. The point is that due to melting ice, global sea levels have risen by 7.2 millimeters since the early 1990s. This does not sound too threatening to people, but in the case of sea level rise, the factor of how low to the sea level a community lives is important.
For example, the current ocean level is already affecting coasts and island states. For example, the island nation of Tuvalu could be completely submerged by the end of this century. In addition, it is known that the indigenous people of the Pacific island of Karti Sugtupu have recently decided to leave their sinking island before it is too late. Rising sea levels have also affected the US state of Louisiana, which has lost a staggering amount of land.
Martin Siegert, a glaciologist at the University of Exeter, said that it looks like humanity is awakening the "giant of Antarctica" and there are "very, very good reasons to be concerned."
"This is a potentially very worrying sign of Antarctic climate change that has not been seen in the last 40 years," he emphasized.
Earlier, OBOZREVATEL reported that a creature with 20 arms was caught off the coast of Antarctica.