enn_logo2The latest update from the Environmental News Network begins with an article on record-low 2016 Antarctic sea ice levels because of a ‘perfect storm’ of tropical, polar conditions.  The original study was published on August 24th in Geophysical Research Letters.  The Network says:

A dramatic drop in Antarctic sea ice almost a year ago, during the Southern Hemisphere spring, brought its maximum area down to its lowest level in 40 years of record keeping. Ocean temperatures were also unusually warm.  This exceptional, sudden nosedive in Antarctica differs from the long-term decline in the Northern Hemisphere.  A new University of Washington study shows that the lack of Antarctic sea ice in 2016 was in part due to a unique one-two punch from atmospheric conditions both in the tropical Pacific Ocean and around the South Pole.  “This combination of factors, all these things coming together in a single year, was basically the ‘perfect storm,’ for Antarctic sea ice,” said corresponding author Malte Stuecker, a UW postdoctoral researcher in atmospheric sciences. “While we expect a slow decline in the future from global warming, we don’t expect such a rapid decline in a single year to happen very often.”

You can read more here.