Arctic, Antarctic Poles at Record Low for Amount of Sea Ice

The amount of sea ice in both the Arctic and Antarctic is at a record low and climate change is partly to blame, scientists announced Wednesday.

Overall, the combined Arctic and Antarctic sea ice numbers are at their lowest point since satellites began to continuously measure sea ice in 1979.

Arctic sea ice reached a record wintertime low for the third straight year, while sea ice around Antarctica shrank to its lowest summertime area on record. Scientists blame the decline in ice on a combination of natural, random weather and man-made global warming from the burning of coal, oil and gas.

Sea ice is frozen ocean water that has an annual cycle of melting during the summer and refreezing in winter. It floats on top of the ocean. The data comes from scientists at NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colo.

“Nature is sending us yet another distress call — the time to address human-caused climate change is now,” said Lou Leonard of the World Wildlife Fund. “The Arctic is dramatically changing and worldwide, people, communities and wildlife are at risk from its cascading effects.”

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SOURCE: USA Today, Doyle Rice