US: NASA has released the analysis of the data gathered by its satellite this winter. And the results are alarming. According to this year’s analysis, this winter’s maximum sea ice extinction in the Arctic was 5.607 million square miles. It may sound a lot, but in reality, it’s actually the lowest amount since the satellite record started in 1979.
Temperatures in the Arctic were well above normal this year and played a large part in making this December, January, and February, the warmest December, January, and February globally in the last 135 years. The warmer temperatures limit the amount of sea ice that can form.
Since 1979, the amount of winter sea ice in the Arctic has decreased by 620,000 square miles; an area more than twice the size of Texas. Arctic sea ice plays a big role in controlling global temperatures. Ice reflects a large amount of solar energy.
With less sea ice present, more heat energy is absorbed by the unfrozen ocean. Warmer ocean temperatures further limit the amount of sea ice that can form and ultimately contributes to global temperatures continuing to rise.