It hasn’t been a good decade for arctic sea ice. The northern ice cap has lost a significant amount of mass in the past year and now scientists are saying that current Arctic Ice Levels have now tied their second lowest point in history.
In a recent post from NOAA, Michon Scott delves into the severity of the recent ice loss saying, “On March 24, 2016, Arctic sea ice began the 2016 melt season with a record low maximum extent of 14.52 million square kilometers (5.607 million square miles).” Ultimately that slow growth season resulted in historically low ice coverage during the summer months, leaving the fall susceptible to further ice loss.
“What this year shows us is that we’re primed for much greater ice losses in the near future… In most summers, the Arctic would have lost significantly more ice.”– Ted Scambos, Lead Scientist NSIDC
Ice melt started fast at the beginning of this month and continues to melt at a rate much faster than the historical average and it may not be over yet. According to NOAA, sea ice could continue to melt away if Arctic winds patterns bring warmer air to the pole.
Find the entire NOAA post here: Arctic sea ice ties for second lowest in 2016