The yin-yang of sea ice at Earth’s poles

Arctic sea ice is decreasing. Antarctic sea ice is at an all-time high. How can that be? This 3-minute video offers an explanation.

The world is getting warmer. It comes as no surprise, therefore, when researchers announced in September that Arctic sea ice extent is still below normal, continuing a years-long downward trend, covering less and less of the north polar seas.

On the heels of that announcement, came another, a little more puzzling. While Arctic sea ice was melting, on the other end of the world, Antarctic sea ice was at an all-time high. In 2014, sea ice surrounding Antarctica covered more of the southern oceans than it has since satellite record began in the late 1970s.

Arctic and Antarctic sea ice are both affected by climate change, but the two poles of Earth are behaving in intriguingly different ways. This new NASA video explores the curious differences between north- and south-polar sea ice.

Bottom line: A new NASA video explores the question of why, in our warming world, sea ice is decreasing in the Arctic while Antarctic sea ice is at an all-time high.

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Eleanor Imster