Polar scientists are calling for an urgent intensification of national and international research and observational capabilities in view of rapid Arctic and Antarctic change.
The latest call to action is from the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)/ Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Expert Group on Antarctic Sea-Ice Processes and Climate (ASPeCt) and the CliC Arctic Sea Ice Working Group (ASIWG) in response to continuing observations of record low sea-ice extents.
Ed Hanna, CliC co-chair, said, “Sea ice is a highly sensitive bellwether of the state of Earth’s climate, and as such is both a key impact and early harbinger of human-induced climate change. The recent changes reported in both Arctic and Antarctic sea ice, under the umbrella of SCAR/CliC’s Sea Ice Working Groups, are dramatic and concerning. Until the last few years, it was thought that Antarctica – at least its sea ice – was more insulated from the worst effects of global heating; unfortunately, it seems increasingly likely that this is no longer the case.”
Polar scientists are calling for sustained long-term observations and research to address information gaps in both polar sea-ice zones and increased collaboration across nations and through the standardization of sea-ice measurements.
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