After 2021 experienced the fourth warmest year on record we are now seeing what this has meant for Arctic sea ice. Current data shows we are coming in with the tenth lowest level on record. That’s 297,000 square miles below average with 15 fewer sea ice days this season.
Why should we be worried about declining sea ice? It’s critical to moderating our global temperature. It also reflects 80% of sunlight back into space. Overall, less sea ice speeds up warming and our changing climate patterns. Check out the data below and you’ll see this sea ice decline is a steady trend we have been experiencing since 1980.
How could this sea ice loss impact California and the Bay Area in the coming years? It would bring a faster sea level rise to our coastal zones and warmer ocean temps. California Winter storms would also be warmer bringing less Sierra snow. That Sierra snow is critical to our water supply as it provides 1/3 of the state’s water.
The good news, new research shows we can all make a difference and avoid these consequences from getting worse with substantial cuts in emissions and greenhouse gases. This is something we can all participate in by lowering our carbon footprint. You can find out more about our changing climate and all of our stories in this link.