Antarctic sea-ice at 'mind-blowing' low alarms experts - BBC News

Missing winter sea ice signals changes that could be a "disaster for the world", scientists say.

15 hours agoShareclose panelShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingRelated TopicsClimate changeImage source, Dr Robbie MalletImage caption, A scientist on the ice in AntarcticaBy Georgina Rannard, Becky Dale and Erwan RivaultBBC News Climate & Science and Data Journalism TeamThe sea-ice surrounding Antarctica is well below any previous recorded winter level, satellite data shows, a worrying new benchmark for a region that once seemed resistant to global warming.

"It's so far outside anything we've seen, it's almost mind-blowing," says Walter Meier, who monitors sea-ice with the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

An unstable Antarctica could have far-reaching consequences, polar experts warn.

Antarctica's huge ice expanse regulates the planet's temperature, as the white surface reflects the Sun's energy back into the atmosphere and also cools the water beneath and near it.

Without its ice cooling the planet, Antarctica could transform from Earth's refrigerator to a radiator, experts say.

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