published on 6 November 2020 in water
North Pole increasingly ice-free
In the annals of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), a new negative record has been achieved for the North Pole sea ice. October has just ended and the Arctic ice is late in forming, so much so that the polar ice cap has reached the lowest levels in 40 years (that is since the surveys began).
The data collected tell us that the extent of sea ice in October 2020 was just 5.28 million km2. According to the historical series recorded by the NSIDC for the period 1981-2010, more than 3 million km2 of Arctic ice has been lost. The decrease is generalised, it concerns the whole Arctic: the extent of the ice is far below average in all sectors of the Eurasian side, the Arctic Ocean and in Baffin Bay. The anomalous temperatures of the period, 4-5°C higher than the monthly average, have also contributed to reaching this point. The rate of decline calculated by the NSIDC now stands at more than 10% every ten years. In other words, every year an area as large as the whole of Austria disappears, or rather no longer freezes over.