Record small ice sheet in Antarctica
The Antarctic ice sheet is smaller than it has ever been measured to be.
On February 16, the total area of ice covering the sea around the continent was 2.09 million square kilometers, according to the EU’s climate monitoring agency, Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).
– The Antarctic sea ice then had its smallest extent recorded during 45 years of satellite monitoring, says Samantha Burgess, deputy director at C3S.
The corresponding US authorities also reported a record small ice surface last month, but stated that it was 1.79 million square kilometers in size. According to Copernicus, the difference is due to different algorithms for assessing the sea ice. The ice cover is now approximately 30 percent smaller than the average during the period of 1981 to 2010.
Its decrease means that global warming will accelerate, as the large white surfaces reflect most of the solar energy that reaches them.