The sea ice in the Southern Arctic Ocean off Antarctica is shrinking. In July this year, the ice cover was the smallest so far for the month in the 44 years that the measurements have been ongoing, shows the EU’s satellite monitoring.
According to the EU’s climate monitoring service Copernicus, sea ice in July was 1.53 million square kilometres, which is about seven percent less than the average for the corresponding month in the period 1991–2020. The listing is the lowest since measurements began and follows record low ice levels in June. Ever since February this year, the monthly measures have been below average.
July was characterized by extremely high temperatures in several parts of northern Europe and the UK and was drier than normal in most parts of the continent. Even in the Arctic Ocean in the Arctic, the ice cover was lower than the average for July, according to Copernicus, who here noted a decrease of four percent. The sea ice around Svalbard in the Arctic has decreased sharply since May.
Among other things, it is feared to affect the polar bears, which depend on ice-covered seas to survive, as NRK recently reported. Climate change is intensifying the melting of ice caused by warm summer weather, researcher Signe Aaboe told NRK. The amount of sea ice in the Arctic has decreased for several decades as humans burned more and more fossil fuels.