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Facts about the melting of the poles

There is much talk about the increase in the average temperature of the planet, the thaw and climate change. The amount of data is often overwhelming, especially because time passes and the process speeds up and more and more data is available. It is not always easy to assimilate all that information. In this flood of data, all of a sudden, one comes along that claims that Antarctic sea ice is increasing. But didn’t the opposite have to happen?

Everything has its explanation. Next, in the following EcologiaVerde article we offer you a series of data on the melting of the poles , data to clarify the question about the increase (at certain times of the year) of ice around the frozen continent and other factors related to the change climate.

You may also be interested in: Consequences of the thaw at the poles

What is the melting of the poles

To begin with, it is convenient to know what exactly the melting of the planet’s poles is. Thus, the melting of this part of the Earth is about the melting of the ice at the poles , the loss of ice that turns into water that increases the level of the oceans and seas. It must be borne in mind that thawing is a natural process, since the Earth has had times of glaciation as well as warming. However, the current problem occurs because this melting of the ice is occurring much faster than normal, due to the great and polluting human activity, which accelerates global warming. Therefore, we can say that this thaw does not occur completely naturally and, therefore, it becomes a serious and urgent problem for humans and the rest of the living beings that inhabit the planet. A clear example is the situation of the polar bear, which is on the way to extinction .

Antarctica or South Pole is heating up at a very fast rate

The waters of Antarctica are warming faster than the global average . The whole planet is heating up and, of course, so does the Antarctic area, the south pole of the planet. But the ocean around the South Pole continent has been warming faster than the rest of the world’s oceans since the 1950s, at a rate of 0.17 ° C, while the world average has been 0.1 ºC.

Widespread thaw across the planet

In the rest of the world there is a general thaw. The rise of Antarctic sea ice does not compensate for the loss of sea ice in the Arctic. In total terms, sea ice has been steadily declining since 1979. Add to that the loss of ice in Greenland and glaciers. Thus, it can be said that the Earth is thawing by leaps and bounds .

This general loss of ice cover causes the surface of the Earth to reflect less solar energy, which reinforces global warming and, therefore, the process is fed back, that is, the thaw will continue and, probably, at a higher speed. All this thaw has repercussions on the sea level, which is also increasing in an increasingly accelerated way.

Despite all these data contrasted by scientists, clear evidence that not only is there global warming , but also that it is accelerating in recent times, some media continue to downplay the consequences of climate change.

Paradoxically the ice increased in 2012

Despite rapid warming, there is more Antarctic sea ice . On September 26, 2012, the United States’ National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) confirmed that Antarctic sea ice reached a record extension of 19.44 million square kilometers.

Scientists believe that the cause of this increase is the wind. Trends in sea ice are closely linked to local winds. In particular, it is due to the changing force of the cold winds that carry the ice away from the coast and are capable of freezing the water. A new study indicates that the ozone hole in the southern hemisphere may also be affecting the phenomenon.

Most of the ice in Antarctica is on land. There is a lot of talk lately about sea ice, but most of the ice in Antarctica is the one that is in a vast extension that covers the earth’s surface and that extends to the surrounding ocean, which is known, all of it, as the layer of Antarctic ice .

On the other hand, according to satellite measurements, since 2002 the mass of the Antarctic ice sheet has been decreasing at an average rate of 100 cubic kilometers per year .

Sea melt in the Arctic or North Pole

In the Arctic , something very different happens because most of the region is ocean. Antarctica is a land mass surrounded by the ocean, while the Arctic is an ocean surrounded by land. For this reason, the behaviors before and because of the weather are different. In the Arctic, floating sea ice melts as a direct result of warming water, and the wind does little to do with it. In September 2012, Arctic sea ice reached its lowest point since satellite records began in 1979.

Latest data on the melting of the poles

In contrast, more recent data on the melting of the poles indicate that, in the case of Antarctica, the largest glacier, known as the Totten , which is 130 km long and 30 km wide, is melting. because of the increase in ocean temperature. Another of the largest glaciers, called Smith, has decreased in size in recent years. Specifically, the Smith Glacier has lost 2 km of surface per year, until it has lost 35 km of surface .

Currently, unfortunately, NASA has announced that it seems that we have reached the point that the thaw of Antarctica is irreversible .

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