Antarctica's sea istab is suddenly tense for the prolonged fall in the Arctic.
Background: The Arctic sea ice disappearance has been accelerated since the end of the 1990s, where rates of propagation are predicted by climate models and see media attention (see " How nuclear weapons research revealed new climate threats "). But it has been a completely different story at the South Pole, where the ice cover has gradually increased over the past decades, and confused scientists trying to elaborate the exact nature of the complex interactions in the global climate system.
What that means: At this stage, scientists cannot say for sure why it took so long for the Antarctic ice to begin to fall or why the loss accelerated so quickly. Some of the contributing factors may include ocean heat from extreme El Niño at the end of 2015 and early 2016, and a weakened polar vortex changing prevailing wind pattern.
It is also not clear yet whether the exact fall after 2014 signals the start of a "long-term negative trend" or if a slight increase in 2018 marks a blip or "start of a rebound", the study noted.
But the sharp downward shift in recent years at least provides additional data that would allow scientists to test and refine their models and eliminate further links between changing climate and changes in seism.
Feedback loop: As the sea ice is already displacing water, its loss does not directly increase the sea level almost as much as makes the melting of land-based ice sheets. But it can release dangerous feedback effects: as dark blue water replaces lighter surfaces across millions of square kilometers, an increasing amount of heat is absorbed rather than being reflected off. It again threatens to melt ice and glaciers at even higher prices.