Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Oh No, Sea Ice Extent Hit Its Lowest Record In January!

sea ice extent
Pictures: World Meteorological Organization, National Snow and Ice Data Center

NASA defines sea ice extent as the integral sum of the areas of all grid cells with at least 15% ice concentration. Moreover, sea ice area is the integral sum of the product of ice concentration and the area of all grid cells with at least 15% ice concentration.

Surprisingly, it was at its lowest record in January: could it be because of global warming or the world’s rising temperature? According to new reports, the combined climate indicators of the Arctic and Antarctic were the lowest in the first month of 2023.

US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said, “Combined, the two hemispheres set a record low for total global sea ice extent, yet this does not signify a trend necessarily and may be caused by weather-related variability.

What are the factors of low sea ice extent?

One of the climate indicators is the sea ice extent used by WMO.

Next, other indicators include temperature. In the past eight years, it had shown its warmest on record. However, it became the seventh warmest record in January, Copernicus Climate.

Worryingly, the Arctic gets warmer more than twice as fast as the global average. Thus, the Arctic sea ice has retreated over the 44-year satellite record. Since 1979, January has lost 1.80 million square kilometres (730,000 square miles), based on the linear trend. It’s around two sizes of Germany.

sea ice extent

Picture: World Meteorological Organization

Usually, Arctic sea ice reaches its annual maximum extent in late February or early March. It happens when Antarctic sea ice reaches its minimum extent.

At this time, every year, summer affects the sea ice around Antarctica. However, this year promises a change of situation. West Antarctica, especially has become warmer than normal. Combined with strong winds and large waves, it created huge ice-free areas in the area from the Weddell Sea and west towards the Ross Sea via the Antarctic Peninsula.

Will it affect the Earth in the long run?

Gorm Dybkjær, a sea ice researcher at the Danish National Centre for Climate Research (Danish Meteorological Institute), said there are many factors to consider.

He explained, “It’s too early to conclude whether the sea ice continues to shrink in Antarctica or whether there are just long-term natural fluctuations in the weather.”

A stronger statistical basis is necessary before arriving at solid conclusions. Assessment is carried out to investigate if climate change causes this phenomenon.

Sources: World Meteorological Organization, NASA Earth Sciences

You May Also Like


Have you ever looked at the moon or sky and seen the familiar faces of the ones you loved? Or it could be animal...


A rare comet sets to sail across the Earth’s night sky this upcoming February 2. Excitingly, the newly-discovered comet will make its ‘exclusive’ appearance...


Earth’s ozone layer is reported to heal completely within decades — 2040. Over polar areas like the Arctic and 2and Antarctic, the ozone layer...


NASA launched InSight in May 2018. The lander was designed to study the deep interior of the fourth planet from the Sun—Mars. Landed on...


Copyright © 2021 Siakap Keli Sdn. Bhd.