Two previously unnoticed oceanic gateways of warm water have been linked to the extreme thinning of East Antarctica’s Totten Glacier according to new research from the University of Texas at Austin. This discovery raises concern for the state of the Antarctic ice sheet and rising sea levels.
According to data from the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado, Boulder, the Arctic ice cap reached its maximum extent, 5.61 million square miles (14.54 million square kilometers), on February 15th. This is the smallest maximum extent on record and also one of the earliest, occurring nearly 15 days earlier than the average datefrom 1981 to 2010 of March 12th. Only once, in 1996, did the peak come earlier - and just by a day, February 14th.