The extent of sea ice in both Antarctica and the Arctic was at record lows in November, Reuters reported. Polar sea ice roughly the size of India has melted away in the regions because of rising global temperatures and bizarre weather, scientists said.
Arctic sea ice extent averaged 9.08m square km for November which is below the long term average recorded between 1981 and 2010, said The Guardian. In Antarctica, the average in November was 14.54m square km, which is also below average recorded between the same time period. The Southern Ocean off Antarctica has tended to expand in recent years despite the phenomenon of global warming. However, now it is shrinking on both ends of the planet, which is worrying the scientists, said Reuters.
“There are some really crazy things going on,” said Mark Serreze, director of the US National Snow and Ice Data Center. John Turner of the British Antarctic Survey told Reuters it was hard to pinpoint what exactly was happening. “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,” he said.
The loss of sea ice aggravates the warming process as the dark sea will soak up more heat, which in turn will melt more ice, reported The Guardian.
United States President-elect Donald Trump has called climate change a “hoax”. He had threatened to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement. However, in November he said he would “keep an open mind” about withdrawing from the Paris agreement.
The agreement seeks a commitment from countries to stop global temperatures from increasing beyond two degrees Celsius. The agreement which was signed in December 2015 came into force in November. China is responsible for over 20% of global emissions, followed by United States (17.9%). Russia accounts for 7.5% of emissions and India is responsible for 4.1%.