Antarctica's sea ice just hit the lowest level ever seen. - Grist


Stuff that matters

how low can you go

Antarctica’s sea ice just hit the lowest level ever seen.

And as it’s summertime there, sea ice cover is poised to drop even further. Take a look at this year’s sea ice extent, represented by the light blue line:

Antarctica is losing it.
Antarctica is losing it. National Snow and Ice Data Center

The solid gray line show median ice extent from 1981 to 2010, gathered from satellite observations.

Sea ice can fluctuate from year to year, but over the past 20 years, Antarctica has lost 61,390 square miles of ice — a Florida-sized chunk.

That’s Act I of the unfolding Antarctic drama. In Act II, the continent’s fourth-biggest ice shelf, Larsen C, sheds a Delaware-sized iceberg. It could break away any minute now.

In other record-breaking news, the World Meteorological Organization just announced new high temperatures for the Antarctic. On March 24, 2015, the thermostat at a research base on Antarctica’s northern tip hit 63.5 degrees F.

Looking for your next winter vacation spot? Consider Antarctica, where the sun never sets and the ice melts fast. You can leave your heavy down jacket at home.