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Lowest July Antarctic sea ice on record: monitor

Antarctic sea ice cover was lowest in July since satellite records began 44 years ago

Antarctic sea ice cover was the lowest in July since satellite records began 44 years ago.

Last month, according to the European Union’s satellite monitoring group, was the lowest amount of Antarctic sea ice ever recorded for July.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) found that the extent of Antarctic sea ice reached 15.3 million square kilometers (5,900,000 square miles) — about 1.1 million km2, or seven percent, below the 1991 average- 2020 for July.

This was the lowest July ice cover since satellite records began 44 years ago, and also followed the record lows of Antarctic sea ice levels in June.

C3S said the low ice levels continue a series of below-average monthly amounts observed since February 2022.

The agency said in its monthly bulletin that the Southern Ocean saw “widespread areas of below-average sea ice concentration” last month.

Sea ice cover in the Arctic, meanwhile, was four percent lower than average, making it the 12th lowest sea ice cover on record.

In a month when temperature records were broken in parts of northern Europe and Britain, C3S said July was drier than average for much of the continent, with some low rainfall records being set in several locations.

“These conditions had an impact on the local economy and facilitated the spread and intensification of wildfires,” it said.

C3S said July was also abnormally dry in much of North America, South America, Central Asia and Australia.

Climate change increases the risk of extreme heat and drought.

“We can expect to see more frequent and longer periods of extremely high temperatures as global temperatures continue to rise,” said senior C3S scientist Freja Vamborg.

However, the agency said last month was wetter than usual in eastern Russia, northern China and a large wet band stretching from eastern Africa across Asia to northwest India.

Portugal sets new heat record in July and severe drought worsens

© 2022 AFP

Quote: Lowest Antarctic sea ice in July on record: Monitor (2022, August 9) retrieved on August 9, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-08-lowest-july-antarctic-sea-ice.html

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