Both the Arctic and Antarctica saw below mean sea ice cover in the last month compared to the 1981-2010 average, the European Union’s climate change body said Tuesday.
“In the Arctic, the sea ice extent was 6% below the 1981-2010 average…In Antarctica, sea ice extent was 14% below the 1981-2010 average,” the Copernicus Climate Change Service said in its monthly sea ice cover study.
It added that Arctic sea ice was recorded above the February values for the past six years while in Antarctica, sea ice extent was above the February values for the past three years.
The study showed that Arctic sea ice extent in the last month was 14.5 million km2, meaning it was 0.9 million km2 below the 1981-2010 average for February and Antarctic sea ice extent was 2.9 million km2 on average in February 2020, which is 0.5 million km2 below the 1981-2010 average for the same month.
Arctic and Antarctic ice cover are under huge threat of increasing global warming or climate change, driven by human activities.
The thermometer of the Argentine research base Esperanza read the historic temperature of 18.3 C (65 F) on the Antarctic Peninsula, breaking a previous record from 2015 of 17.5 C (63.5 F) at the same site on Feb. 6.
On Feb. 13, a new high of 20.75 C (69.35 F) was recorded in the Antarctic, exceeding the 20 C mark for the first time on record.