As global temperatures continue to rise, a huge chunk of polar ice covering an area about the size of India has melted, climate scientists said.
Despite the ongoing debates that the sea ice in Antarctica is growing and that climate change was just a hoax, scientists point out that the area is losing ice faster than it was gaining ice.
The scientists found that the ice is melting at both poles and ice levels are now at record lows. In fact, sea ice off Antarctica and in the Arctic is at record lows for this time of year, after decreasing by twice the size of Alaska.
“There are some really crazy things going on,” Mark Serreze, director of the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado, told Reuters. He added the temperatures in some parts of the Arctic were 20 degrees Celsius above normal over the past month.
This year has been the warmest on record across the globe. On Dec. 4, the extent of polar sea ice was about 1.48 square miles below the 1981 to 2010 average, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) satellite images. This is roughly the size of India or two Alaskas.
The scientists said that the warm ocean temperatures, the warming atmosphere and wind patterns like El Niño are preventing ice from forming. They added that the glaciers in Antarctica could slip more rapidly into the ocean, speeding up the pace of sea level rise because there is less ice on the sea to pin them back.
“Typically sea ice begins to form in the fjords at the beginning of November, but this year there was no ice to be found,” Julienne Stroeve, an NSIDC scientist, said as reported by The Huffington Post.
Despite climate change deniers claiming that global warming is not happening, more than 200 countries have signed the Paris Climate Change Agreement in the hope to reduce carbon emissions worldwide and eventually slow down the warming temperatures across the world.