Sea ice levels in the Arctic and Antarctic are growing at a record-slow pace this season, according to multiple sources. While this year’s summer low for the northern hemisphere wasn’t as bad as the current record, set in 2012, the autumn rebound is falling well short of both the fall of 2012’s growth rate and the 37-year average. The Antarctic is following suit, with the summer melt shrinking the ice there at a record speeds.
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Scientists have detected that the earth’s magnetic field has been significantly weakening over the past six months. Data collated by the European Space Agency (ESA) Swarm satellite array indicates that the field has developed several weak areas over the Western Hemisphere.
Conversely, the field has strengthened in other areas such as the southern Indian Ocean, according to the magnetometers onboard the Swarm satellites.
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The thinning of the north polar cap has been a concern of scientists for years, but this summer it appears that the ice is thinning fastest at its center, right around the pole itself. This is unexpected and unprecedented and could lead to an ice-free arctic much sooner than expected. Most scientists did not expect such an event to take place for another 10 to 30 years. The more open ocean there is over the arctic, the less heat is reflected and the more methane is released from underwater methane hydrates and melting permafrost. Methane is 30 times more efficient a heat trap than CO2.read more