The Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre released its latest Position Analysis: Antarctic Sea Ice and Climate Change 2014, on 11 March. The 44-page publication was produced by Dr Jan Lieser and other sea ice scientists at the ACE CRC, the Australian Antarctic Division and the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. The analysis aims to inform Australian government and the community about the current knowledge of sea ice in Antarctica and to identify issues for consideration in policy development.
The document discusses how Antarctic sea ice cover is changing. In the west Antarctic Peninsula region, sea ice extent has dramatically reduced, and the length of the sea ice ‘season’ has also shortened. In the Ross Sea region of the Antarctic, however, the maximum annual extent of sea ice cover has increased and its season extended. Overall, the maximum annual extent of Antarctic sea ice has increased by around 1.5% per decade since 1979 (or by around 285 000 square kilometres). This compares to a loss of 1.8 million square kilometres of sea ice maximum annual extent in the Arctic.