This map shows the sea ice extent compared to the average over the last 40 years. The sea ice extent is considered to be the amount of ice that covers the Antarctic region at any given time. There’s a staggering difference in sea ice between 2023 and years prior. To put this in perspective, the difference in sea ice extent from 2022 to 2023 is about the size of Alaska.
Scientists are certain that in the Arctic to the north, the melting is linked to climate change but in the Antarctic to the south, it’s more complicated due to how rapidly the patterns shift in this region. These troubling trends have scientists worried that this could be from climate change rather than just another pattern shift.