Sea Ice Extent 2014

The extent of Arctic sea ice in 2104 reached its lowest extent for the year on 17 September. It was the sixth lowest that satellite records have recorded and is very significantly lower than the annual average ice extent recorded by the same means between 1981 and 2010, so it is clear that the trend for Arctic sea ice extent in summer is falling.

At the other end of the world the summer sea ice extent is reversing with an increase in sea ice extent averaging between 1% and 2% per decade and in 2104 reached a record high level.

Sea ice extent merely measures the cover of sea ice on the water. Of course it is also important to measure the depth of sea ice as well as its extent if we are to attempt to understand what these measurements mean in terms of climate change. However there are no observations and recorded data of the volume changes of Antarctic sea ice. The best modelling of Antarctic sea ice volume ( ) suggest that the volume of increase of sea ice in the Antarctic is less than the volume of sea ice being lost in the Arctic and that about half of the increase is probably due to the fact that the Antarctic has more freshwater (which freezes more easily than salt water) than the Arctic.

Meanwhile across the world average surface temperatures still increase despite what you may read in some newspapers, and the temperature of the oceans is also increasing.

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