What is happening to the sea ice in the Antarctica?
Returning from a recent trip‚ funded by the Department of Science and Technology‚ with some 70 other scientists‚ a marine expert and an artist from UCT have come home with some harrowing information – and beautiful imagery to explain why we should care.
It is all about pancake ice – frozen discs which look like puzzle pieces floating in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica in a region between the Atlantic and the Indian oceans that was never explored before in winter.
Associate Professor Marcello Vichi‚ who is head of the Marine Research Institute at UCT and led the expedition‚ says what they discovered there is “not something I would have believed until I saw it myself”.
What the scientists found: Unexpected changes in the sea ice features.
He explains: “The formation of Antarctic sea ice is largely regulated by the heat coming from the ocean. The warming of the upper part of the ocean in the last century has been … affecting sea ice.”