Antarctic sea ice area in winter is slowly increasing – why?

Rocky Rex

This is complex, but the following explanation deals with some factors in an easy-to-read form….

The Antarctic sea ice melts almost to the coast each summer.

The winter sea ice has increased by around 1 % over the last few decades.

This is not difficult to explain.

All linked to melting of the land ice on Antarctica…..

Seawater will not freeze until it is around minus 2 degrees C, due to the salt content.

This effect of salt, of course, is used to help defrost roads.

The meltwater off Antarctica’s ice sheets is freshwater.

Freshwater has a low density, so it forms a layer on the sea.

Freshwater freezes (of course) at zero degrees C, so a layer of ice can form more easily on top of the sea.

Also windchill helps to freeze that top layer.

A useful comparison of Antarctic and Arctic sea ice ……

Arctic vs Antarctic

See especially the comparison chart at the end.


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