Last month, Antarctica’s sea ice hit its maximum (largest) extent towards the end of Antarctic winter; but that “maximum” was the lowest ever observed, reaching only about 17 million km2. That was over 1 million km2 than the previous record. Sea ice scientists are beginning to speak of a state change in Antarctic sea ice, due to global warming, that over the past six years has hit lows that took Arctic sea ice 40 years to reach. At the other pole, the Arctic experienced its sixth lowest summer minimum of sea ice since satellite records began in 1979. To explain these trends, their context and potential global effects, Dr. Walt Meier, Senior Research Scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), summarized these latest sea ice observations.
Video recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tL4X7ploiJQ