Mexico-Size Chunk of Ice Missing from the Arctic By Andrea Thompson

Article Summary: Due to rising global temperatures, the Arctic lost a large portion of sea ice that is about the size of Mexico. The Arctic experiences a common seasonal cycle, yet this November holds the lowest record for sea ice area to date according to a study conducted by the National Snow and Ice Data Center. This summer, the Arctic has also experienced one of the biggest declines in sea ice levels. As global temperatures continue to increase, scientists fear that by the middle of the century, the Arctic could become ice-free.

The Arctic sea ice usually gets bigger during winter and fall because these months are cold and dark. The ice then decreases during the spring and summer as the sun becomes more prevalent. Unfortunately, the temperatures in the Arctic are increasing dramatically.

“[The temperatures] are raising twice as fast as the global average, [which has] set off a downward spiral in sea ice levels.” (Thompson)

Many studies have been conducted to locate the main cause of the decreasing sea ice percentage. A recent study discovered that carbon dioxide emissions have led to a loss of around 30 square feet of ice alone. Yet, carbon dioxide isn’t the only factor contributing to the depreciating amount of ice. The overall increased global temperatures are primarily responsible for the loss of sea ice, and carbon dioxide is just one of the many elements that take part in raising global temperatures.

The decrease in ice levels has many negative impacts on the environment around it. It affects “regional flora and fauna,” (Thompson) along with rising sea levels and local communities. There is also a possibility that it will have an effect on weather patterns in locations such as Asia, North America, and Europe.

I chose this article because I found the topic very interesting. Personally, I found it frightening that there may be no sea ice by the middle of the century. I wanted to issue a call for change. We, as humans, are contributing greatly to the rise in global temperatures.

While we are the ones that are indirectly causing this unfortunate phenomenon, we also have the power to take action and change our ways.

We can decrease waste, lower our carbon use, and do much, much more. This is easier said than done, but we need to at least try to help save the sea ice in our planet— and we need to act fast before it’s too late.

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