Lowest Antarctic sea ice on record in July: keep an eye out
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Paris (AFP)- Last month saw the lowest Antarctic sea ice extent on record for July, according to the European Union’s satellite monitoring group.
The Copernicus Climate Change (C3S) service has found the extent of Antarctic sea ice to be 1.53 million square kilometers (590,000 sq mi), or some 1.1 million km2, or 7%, below of the 1991-2020 average for July.
It was the lowest ice cover in July since satellite records began 44 years ago, and followed record Antarctic sea ice levels in June as well.
C3S said the low ice values continued a series of below-average monthly extents seen since February 2022.
The service said in its monthly bulletin that the Southern Ocean saw “large areas of below-average sea ice concentration” in the past month.
Arctic sea ice cover meanwhile was 4% lower than average, making it the 12th lowest sea ice extent on record in July.
In a month that saw temperature records broken in parts of northern Europe and Britain, C3S said July was drier than average for much of the continent, noting a number of low precipitation records in several locations.
“These conditions affected the local economy and facilitated the spread and intensification of wildfires,” he said.
C3S said July was also abnormally dry across much of North America, South America, Central Asia and Australia.
Climate change makes extreme heat and drought more likely to occur.
“We can expect to continue to see more frequent and longer periods of extremely high temperatures, as global temperatures increase further,” said C3S senior scientist Freja Vamborg.
The service said last month, however, was wetter than usual in eastern Russia, northern China and a broad wet swath stretching from eastern Africa across Asia to northwest of India.
© 2022 AFP