Climate Change Causes Massive Chunk Of Ice To Disappear From Polar Regions

By Reina Ilagan

Dec 08, 2016 05:24 AM EST

The call to address the worsening case of climate change has become all the more relevant after an alarming report revealed that a large chunk of sea ice in both the Arctic and Antarctic has been lost. The size of the ice that disappeared can be equated to the size of India or of two Alaskas.

In an interview with Reuters, Mark Serreze, director of the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), said, "There are some crazy things going on."

Based on the center's satellite measurements, the polar sea ice extent on December 4 was around 3.84 million sq km below the average amount between 1981 and 2010. The decline in the sea ice off the polar regions is being blamed to the rising global temperatures.

Serreze also noted that temperatures in parts of the Arctic were 20 degrees Celsius above normal days in November, making this year possibly as the warmest on record.

John Turner from the British Antarctic Survey said that the cold easterly winds which travel across the continent were the weakest in two decades. This probably caused the warmer temperatures in the south.

"When we began getting satellite data from 1979, the sea ice started to decrease. Everyone said it was global warming... but then it started to increase again," Turner said.

The report also indicated that the 88,000 sq km growth of ice in November was slightly above the average of 69,600 sq km per day.

Also, for a short period in the middle of November, the total sea ice extent decreased by 50,000 sq km, which NSIDC said was an "unprecedented occurrence" for that time of the year.

Provided the scientific findings about the increase in floods, heat waves and rising sea levels, almost 200 governments agreed last year to phase out fossil fuels by the end of the century as a step towards the prevention of man-made climate change from causing further damage.

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