Home Emergency Management News Sea Ice Near All-Time Record Lows in February

Sea Ice Near All-Time Record Lows in February

0

NOAA: Sea ice well below averages in both Arctic and Antarctic regions

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released its State of the Climate, which noted historically low sea ice levels in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions in February 2016.

According to the NOAA, sea ice estimations at the poles for last month came in at some of lowest levels ever observed in the nearly four decades of record keeping.

Arctic

In February, average Arctic sea ice extent was 450,000 square miles below the average seen between the years 1981 and 2010. This represents a 7.54 percent drop from the average. It was the second straight month of an observed record low for Arctic sea ice.

This February extent was the smallest ever observed since record-keeping started in 1979, coming out 77,000 square miles less 2005, which previously held the record.

Antarctic

Antarctic sea ice in Februrary 2016 was an estimated 9.54 percent below the average seen between the years 1981 and 2010. The estimated 110,000-square-mile decrease from the average resulted in the smallest total Antarctic sea ice extent since 2011.

Snow cover

Additionally, snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere in February was the third smallest amount ever for the month (50 years of records).

All told, snow cover totals in the Northern Hemisphere in February haven't been lower since 2002.

Matt Mills Matt Mills has been involved in various aspects of online media, both on the editorial side and on the technology side, for more than 16 years. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and is currently involved in multiple projects focused on innovation journalism.