(Image provided by Cryosphere Today)
Global Sea Ice Area entered its third record low period for this year ten days ago and remains at record lows for this time of year. The measurement for the current date, about 20.6 million square kilometers, is about 100,000 square kilometers below the previous record low for today. This record low is about 1.4 million square kilometers below the average for 1979-2008 and about 1.9 million square kilometers below average values for the 1980s.
Climate change deniers have often pointed to a statistically insignificant increase in Antarctic Sea Ice as a counter-argument for human-caused global warming. However, these deniers fail to take into account the massive scope of sea ice losses in the Arctic and their overall effect on global sea ice. The combined result is a long-term trend of substantial global sea ice losses.
Over the next 10-20 years, as global warming begins to have greater and greater effect on the Southern Hemisphere, Antarctic Sea Ice will likely begin to show gradual declines. Experts agree, however, that it is unlikely that Arctic Sea Ice will survive during summer and that Ice-free conditions will begin to take hold there within the next 3-20 years.
This ongoing trend of ice loss has ominous consequences. The include increased instances of extreme weather, severe ecological damage to the Arctic region, and increasing risk of human-caused methane release from sea-bed and permafrost methane sources that greatly amplify human caused global warming.