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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

No words for this: both Antarctic and Arctic sea ice extents are at record lows

OK, this has never occurred before in recorded history, so far as we know, since of course we have not had good measurements of the sea ice around Antarctica for that long - maybe since 1979 about when satellite observations began.

But the record-low sea ice in the Arctic should not be all that surprising given the extraordinarily high temperatures that have occurred in that region all winter long.

In the Arctic, during March-April-May, generally speaking, if the Arctic Oscillation (AO) Index is positive, a lot of warm air flows into the Arctic via the North Atlantic, causing that side of the Arctic to lose sea ice extent.  The AO Index has been positive for a few weeks, but it looks like the Index may be heading back to neutral or negative territory.  If the extent continues to go down in spite of this, then we really do have an amazing situation going on.

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