Once again, even if the sea ice cap was melting, sea levels wouldn’t raise an inch, water displacement is a hard cold fact.
ANTARCTIC SEA ICE AT ALL-TIME RECORD LEVELS
The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSID), with the support of the NASA Earth Sciences, justannounced that Antarctic sea ice has expanded to all-time record levels for April. Last month the ice expanded by more than 42.5 square miles and continues to grow in May.
The NSID said the rapid expansion of sea ice that continued into May and the seasonal cover was now bigger by a significant margin than any past measurements. According to the Center, “This exceeds the past record for the satellite era by about 123.6 square miles, which was set in April 2008.”
Increased ice cover in the Antarctic is contrasted to falling Arctic ice levels, where the summer melt has again pushed levels below the average extent for 1981-2010. The Center said that while the rate of Arctic-wide retreat was rapid through the first half of April, it had slowed later in the month. But the April “Arctic minimum” was still 104.3 square miles greater than the record April low, which occurred in 2007.
Sea ice differs between the Arctic and Antarctic, primarily because of their different geography. The Arctic is a semi-enclosed ocean, almost completely surrounded by land. As a result, the sea ice that forms in the Arctic is not as mobile as sea ice in the Antarctic. Although sea ice moves around the Arctic basin, it tends to stay in the cold Arctic waters.Flows are more prone to converge and pile up into thick ridges. These converging flows make Arctic ice thicker and leads to ice that stays frozen longer during the summer melt. Of the 5.8 million square miles of sea ice that exist during winter, on average 2.7 million square miles remain at the end of the summer melt season.