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Arctic and Antartic sea ice reaches record lows - 7th December

sea ice

November saw the extent of sea ice at both polar regions retreat to record low levels.

The decline in sea ice has been attributed to warm temperatures and winds last month.  Arctic sea ice extent averaged 1.95m sq km below the long-term average for November whilst in Antarctica this figure was 1.81m sq km below the long-term average.  

Scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) have seen Arctic ice retreat as the region enters winter, calling this an 'almost unprecedented' event.

The loss of sea ice contributes to the warming process by increasing the extent of sea exposed, absorbing more heat and thus leading to further ice melt.  Subsequent sea level rise is putting many major cities around the world at risk of flooding.

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