The melting of ice is one of the manifestations of global climate change.
This process will change the face of the planet. Now the water level in the oceans is increasing and many species are under threat of extinction.
For example, a study in 2014 showed that the population of Emperor penguins by the end of the XXI century may be reduced by a third due to the melting of Antarctic ice.
Antarctica for a long time been considered a stable region, where the rate of ice melting does not exceed usual norms. However, in the last few years, scientists have noted changes in ice of the southern hemisphere. For example, in 2016, on the surface of glaciers of the East Antarctic found a small melt lake.
A similar phenomenon was observed earlier in the Greenland glaciers is the first stage of the process of destruction of the glacier.
A new study noted an unusually rapid melting of Antarctic sea ice from September to December 2016. The area of ice was reduced by 18% faster compared to previous spring seasons was up to 46% faster than the average.
The reduction in the area of Antarctic sea ice — annual seasonal process. Square icy ring around Antarctica by September reaches 15-18 million km2, and by February are usually reduced to 3 million km2. However, by January 2017, the area of ice made up 4.04 million km2, and by early March she was only 2 million km2. According to scientists, this is the lowest figure for this period in the entire history of satellite observations which started in 1979.
The authors attribute the abnormal performance of 2017 with the peculiarities of the atmospheric circulation over Antarctica. In September, October and November in the southern hemisphere has seen some very strong storms. The wind could break the relatively thin (about one meter) layer of sea ice, and accelerated melting.
Also, the impact of melting of ice may have an increase in the average temperature of the upper water layers of the southern ocean — the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans surrounding Antarctica.
Scientists stress that their work covers only a small period of time. To draw conclusions about how the melting of ice can affect the greenhouse effect, other detailed studies.
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